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Volume 474: debated on Thursday 24 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what his timetable is for the introduction of legislative proposals to amend the law of homicide; (200421)

(2) what his timetable is for launching a consultation on potential changes to the law of homicide.

In December 2006, following extensive public consultation, the Law Commission published its report on "Murder, Manslaughter and Infanticide". That report was intended as the first stage in the review of the law in this area, with the Government to undertake the second stage.

On 12 December 2007 I announced the commencement of that next stage of the review which is looking first at the recommendations relating to provocation, diminished responsibility, complicity and infanticide. Discussions have been taking place with stakeholders over the last few months. If it is decided that legislative change is necessary, draft clauses will be published for consultation in the summer. Any subsequent legislation would be introduced as soon as parliamentary time allows.