HOME NEWS CRIMINAL JUSTICE BILL: REACTION - `A Law Made on the Hoof Is a Bad Idea'
Robert Verkaik Legal Affairs Correspondent, The Independent (London, England)
JUDGE GERALD BUTLER, a former senior Crown Court judge who has chaired investigations for the Government, said he had serious concerns about the idea of judges sitting without juries in fraud trials.
"In all the fraud cases I tried the issue always boiled down to whether the defendant was dishonest or not. I would not want a judge to determine this issue on his own or when sitting with so-called experts. Juries are quite capable of understanding the issue and determining it for themselves," he said.
Judge Butler said that he was also concerned that the relaxation of the double jeopardy rule would have a retrospective impact. "We all know its being done for a specific case but it's a really bad idea to make the law on the hoof like that."
Anthony Scrivener QC, a former chairman of the Bar, said the double jeopardy proposals had gone too far. "By not restricting the compelling evidence test to new scientific evidence, the prosecution will be able to have a dummy run with other evidence they can find. …