§ Mr. Beggs
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will amend existing legislation to enable victims of crimes or their representatives to exercise the same right to a hearing for a retrial in the Court of Appeal as that given to a convicted criminal when new evidence is produced and a miscarriage of justice has been established.
§ Mr. John Patten
The victim's charter we published on 22 February—a copy of which is in the Library—sets out some questions for discussion including whether the victim could or should be given some opportunity to be heard in court. As the charter explains, we have no immediate proposals for change, but would welcome views. We could not however support a change which would enable the victim to call into question an acquittal, which would violate the principle that a person who has been acquitted should not he tried a second time.