Criminal Justice Bill
Mr. Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden): Rather than calling upon fiction to find evidence for his case, will the Home Secretary look to facts and accept that although serious fraud cases may impose difficulties on jurors, they do not seem to have resulted in difficulties in securing convictions, since over the past four years the Serious Fraud Office has had a 92 per cent. success rate in obtaining convictions, as against 57 per cent. on average for contested trials?
Mr. Blunkett: Such success is achieved only after a trial has been put together and a jury obtained. We are all painfully aware of that, because we are debating the best way forward for the investigation and presentation of serious fraud, and the best way of ensuring that we get more cases to trial, as well as getting more trials to successful conviction. They are two separate processes, but the right hon. Gentleman rightly and mischievously suggests that we address reality, rather than a mythical jury. I agree. That is the basis for our proposals. There have been instances of real difficulty in obtaining and maintaining a jury that is truly representative, picked from across the nation, not consisting of the unemployed or the long retired?