Friday, January 15, 2010

Quote of the debate so far

Lord Lucas, Jan 12th, Committee Stage day 2

"Lord Lucas: I agree with what the noble Lord, Lord Mitchell, has just said. We have to be careful about setting out to criminalise, as he says, a large proportion of our population, particularly when it involves putting them not in the hands of the criminal law with all the safeguards, care and rationality that involves, but in the hands of firms of solicitors who are out to make a

12 Jan 2010 : Column 423

buck from the process. None of these people are nice to deal with. Even where the majors have been involved in prosecutions-there are not many cases of that-they are relentless. It is not at all nice to be on the receiving end of one of their prosecutions. They can take a long time, cost a great deal of money and go on, with unspecified consequences, for a period of years. It is not like a parking fine or some simple, reasonable but reasonably painful financial consequence of wrong-doing. This is putting people into the civil justice system with civil levels of proof. We should be careful about doing that and the circumstances in which we do it."

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