23 March 2007
Fraud law reforms defeated in the Lords
Proposals to reform UK fraud laws have been rejected by the House of Lords.
The decision by peers to vote 216 to 143 to delay proposals to remove juries from notoriously complex fraud cases by six months means it will now be carried over to the next session of parliament.
Following the defeat the attorney general Lord Goldsmith has threatened to use the Parliament Act to push the bill into law at the second hearing.
Shadow lord chancellor Lord Kingsland said: "Jury trial has been the central component in the conduct of all serious criminal trials for about the last 700 years.
"The contribution it has made to the preservation of the liberty of the individual and the legitimacy of government is quite incalculable in particular," he added.
Moves to overhaul fraud laws come in the wake of collapses in a series of high-profile cases, such as an investigation into three public officials accused of using insider information on the Jubilee line, which accrued £60 million in costs.