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Ministry of Justice “actively considering” 12 months sentencing powers

Lord Faulks QC, Justice Minister, confirms to the House of Lords that the Ministry of Justice is considering our calls for 12 months sentencing jurisdiction for magistrates


07 July 2016
Ministry of Justice “actively considering” 12 months sentencing powers

Earlier today, during questions in the House of Lords, MA research was cited by peers calling for the sentencing jurisdiction of magistrates to be increased to cover single offences carrying a 12 month sentence.

MA member Baroness Seccombe DBE JP (pictured) asked a question calling for the change, sparking a lively cross-party endorsement to enact dormant legislation implementing increased jurisdiction.  Answering on behalf of the Government, Justice Minister Lord Faulks QC said his Ministry was “actively considering increasing” magistrates’ sentencing powers.

Lady Seccombe was joined in her calls by Liberal Democrat peer Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames QC, who referenced MA research stating that 12 months sentencing jurisdiction would save the taxpayer at least £40million per annum; relieve pressure on the Crown Court (via reduced delays); and make justice more local. You can watch the exchange here from 11:21.

Commenting after Lords’ questions, MA Chief Executive Chris Brace JP said: “This exchange shows that our presence in Parliament is yielding substantial influence, with each step taking us closer to extending magistrates’ jurisdiction to retain more cases. Although change in Parliament is pretty rapid at the moment, one thing is constant. The MA is the respected voice of the magistracy among MPs and peers with our research highly valued.” 

For more information on the MA's position on increased sentencing jurisdiction visit here

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