Judges could be stopped from freeing criminals on legal technicalities under government plans. Home Secretary John Reid, who says he wants to "rebalance criminal justice in favour of victims", will launch a consultation on how to achieve his aim.To read the BBC article follow this link.
The consultation paper states that it "should not be possible to quash" a conviction that is considered "safe".
The move follows a police crackdown on reckless or drunk drivers escaping conviction through legal "loopholes".
Writing in the foreword to the paper, Mr Reid said new laws would be required.
"Whilst the government is open to suggestions about how we achieve the aims, we are not consulting on the aims themselves or on whether the law should be changed," he said.
"It is our firm view that the present system risks outcomes which are unacceptable to the law-abiding majority."
Common examples of so-called loopholes include the police failing to properly read suspects their rights, or searching homes with out-of-date warrants.
The Home Office consultation paper states: "The government acknowledges that the Court of Appeal are not in the same position as the jury and may not always be able to form a view on whether the appellant committed the offence.
"However, where they have formed such a view the government believes they should not be empowered to allow the appeal."
Is it me or does Dr. John Reid simply not understand the rule of law? We have over centuries developed a legal system that is designed to allow both the Prosecution and Defence to give evidence in Court to decide which side is correct - it seems to me that Dr. John Reid does not like the idea of a not guilty verdict! The conviction rate in this country is something like 97% in the Magistrates Court. What more does he want?
If he looking to prevent people having convictions quashed by the Court of Appeal on technicalities then he wasting his time - the Court of Appeal has said in many judgments over the past few years that technicalities will not prevent an otherwise safe conviction from being quashed.
Okay, rant over...