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The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern): The total expenditure by the Serious Fraud Office on the investigation and prosecution of the Maxwell case from its commencement in 1991 until 31 January 1995 is approximately £8.9 million. This figure includes the costs of SFO accountants, lawyers and support staff as well as the disbursements in relation to counsel, accountants and other investigation and prosecution expenditure. It does not include expenditure by the police service.
The Lord Chancellor: The role of prosecuting counsel in any case is to consider the material submitted by the instructing prosecuting authority and advise what material should be disclosed to the defence. Such advice should take account of substantive law governing disclosure and the rules of professional conduct. The terms of the advice in any particular case will reflect the professional judgment of independent counsel.
The present Director of Public Prosecutions was originally part of the team of counsel nominated to prosecute the Guinness case but relinquished that role on her appointment to be Director of the Serious Fraud Office after the conclusion of the first trial and before the second trial had commenced.
In so far as evidence in the second Guinness case was the subject of representation to the court in the course of that trial, such matters were handled by independent counsel then instructed to conduct the case.
The Lord Chancellor: By virtue of Part IX of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, the report of the investigation into a complaint made by the noble Lord and referred to in his question must be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who has statutory responsibility for whatever decision is taken. The prior ;involvement of the DPP in this case in her former capacities as prosecuting counsel and thereafter as Director of the Serious Fraud Office would make it inappropriate for her to take any part in the consideration of the case. This will be handled under the auspices of the Director (Casework) in the Crown Prosecution Service without reference to the Director of Public Prosecutions herself.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): All civil servants are bound by the Business Appointment Rules, which govern the acceptance of offers of employment on leaving Crown service. Any application under the Rules by the Director General of the Prison Service for permission to accept such employment would be considered on its merits at the time. In accordance with standard practice, the Director General was sent a copy of the Rules on appointment. He confirmed in writing that he had seen and was conversant with them.
Baroness Blatch: Identification parades are conducted in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Identification of Persons by Police Officers (Code D) issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
Baroness Blatch: The use of the curtailment power has been reviewed in the light of the first year's experience of the operation of the Act. The curtailment power has deliberately been used sparingly while the new asylum procedures were settling in. We have concluded that it would now be right to make wider use of this power.
A refused asylum applicant with extant leave at the time of his application may, if the curtailment provision in Section 7 of the 1993 Act is not used, appeal twice, first against the asylum decision, and then, if he overstays, against deportation. This is wasteful of resources, leads to delay and is not in the interests of either genuine refugees or an efficient asylum system.
Greater use of curtailment will speed up appeal procedures and make it easier to remove those with existing leave to enter or remain who have sought to abuse the asylum procedures. Genuine asylum seekers are better served by a system that deals with undeserving cases swiftly and effectively.
Section 7 of the 1993 Act allows curtailment of any existing leave to enter or remain at the time of refusal of an asylum claim. Curtailment takes effect immediately the decision is served. The applicant's appeal right is triggered by the service of a notice of intention to deport. The applicant's detention may be ordered pending his deportation. If the applicant decides to appeal, then all relevant aspects of the case, including the asylum and deportation aspects, may be addressed by a special adjudicator at a single hearing.
During the passage of what became the 1993 Act, the Government indicated that it was not the intention that curtailment should be used either automatically or punitively. We propose no change of approach in these respects.
However, discussion of curtailment during the passage of the Bill tended to focus on the case of a person who is admitted as a bona fide tourist but makes an asylum application soon after, thus revealing that the real intention in coming here was to apply for asylum. Experience since implementation of the 1993 Act suggests that it would restrict the curtailment power too narrowly to confine its use to cases of this sort.
There will in future be a general presumption that curtailment will be used where available except where this would be inappropriate. Each case will continue to be looked at on its individual merits and, as before, curtailment will be neither automatic nor punitive. Cases where curtailment might be inappropriate include those where it is right to allow existing leave to run after the asylum decision has been taken, where the applicant qualifies for leave to remain under another category of the Immigration Rules (for example if they are married to a British Citizen or person settled here); or where there are compelling compassionate or other circumstances which would make it inappropriate to proceed to deportation action. Where the curtailment power is used, a notice of intention to deport will normally be served at the same time. This is necessary in order to trigger a right of appeal against the refusal of asylum. It will still be open to the applicant to leave voluntarily, either before or (if it is unsuccessful) after the appeal.
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