§ Lord Clarke of Hampstead
asked Her Majesty's Government:
When the Attorney-General's consultation paper on pre-trial witness interviews by prosecutors is to be published. [HL2673]
§ The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith)
In April 2002 there was acute public concern about the outcome of the Damilola Taylor murder case. I therefore asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to look into the Crown Prosecution Service's handling of the case, to consider whether there were implications for the conduct of future cases. I asked him particularly to consider whether the time had come to introduce a system where, before trial, key witnesses could, in appropriate cases, be interviewed by the prosecutor, as this might be a useful mechanism for assessing the credibility and reliability of witnesses at an early stage in the proceedings.
The consultation paper on pre-trial witness interviews by prosecutors has been published today and lodged in the Libraries of both Houses. It will be accessible via the net on the CPS web site at www.cps.gov.uk.
The paper will be a valuable springboard for comment, both from within and outside the legal profession, and will be circulated widely. The final date for comments is 21 July 2003.