CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS – INEFFECTIVE TRIALS – 15 March 2005

Dr Julian Lewis: If he [Constitutional Affairs Minister, Christopher Leslie] will make a statement on his policy for reducing the number of ineffective trials.

[SUPPLEMENTARY:] Well, I wish I could be as satisfied as the Minister clearly is with his own performance. My understanding is that at least £41 million a year is wasted when witnesses and, even worse, defendants do not turn up on the day appointed. Is it not outrageous that the victims of crime and the police should have their time wasted when the accused do not bother to turn up on the appointed day? Have not the Government taken rather a long time to deal with that particular problem?