Hailsham Joins Attack on Howard
Cohen, Nick, The Independent (London, England)
THE LEGAL establishment's mounting anger with the Home Secretary will flare again today when Lord Hailsham, the former Tory Lord Chancellor, warns that Michael Howard is threatening the independence of the judiciary.
In a TV interview to be broadcast this morning, Lord Hailsham says that Mr Howard's plans to impose automatic life sentences for offenders with more than one conviction for violent crime or sex offences should be treated with "very grave suspicion".
The proposed extension of mandatory life sentences has brought widespread criticism from the judiciary, as it will mean that the Home Office rather than judges will rule when, if ever, lifers are released.
Lord Justice Rose warned last week that rapists might decide it was not worth their while leaving their victims alive if the penalties for rape and murder were identical. Earlier Lord Donaldson, former Master of the Rolls, said Mr Howard's proposed transfer of power could "leave it open to the executive to behave in a despotic manner".
In an interview to be broadcast on GMTV, Lord Hailsham says: "There is a mandatory life sentence, of course, for murder, and there is a mandatory death sentence, so far as I know, for high treason. But I am not sure that I am very keen on either. I think that …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Hailsham Joins Attack on Howard. Contributors: Cohen, Nick - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: February 4, 1996. Page number: 3. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.