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Out-of-Court Disposals

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 23 March 2010

On 14 December 2009 the Home Secretary, Attorney-General and I announced to Parliament the terms of reference for the review of the use of out-of-court disposals to be conducted by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR). I am issuing this written statement to update the House on further work that is being undertaken.

The initial work on the review provided a greater understanding of the operation of the existing out-of-court disposals frameworks for adults and young people. We plan now to seek further evidence by undertaking a detailed review of individual case files to examine the particular circumstances in which out-of-court disposals have been administered for apparently serious offences. This will inform an examination of the broader policy of these frameworks and consideration of how to improve transparency and accountability in how out-of-court disposals are used.

This is a substantial piece of work and will require public consultation. We will continue to keep Parliament informed of progress.