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Perjury And Perverting The Course Of Justice: Prosecutions

Volume 590: debated on Wednesday 17 June 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:On how many occasions in the past two years have (a) a party and (b) a witness in actions for defamation been prosecuted for perjury or obstructing the course of justice or similar offences arising from the giving of evidence or in a sworn statement; and [HL2181]On how many occasions in the past few years have:

  • (a) a person convicted of an offence; and
  • (b) a witness to an alibi which by their verdict the jury have rejected been prosecuted for an offence of perjury or obstructing the course of justice or similar offence arising from giving evidence or in a sworn statement. [HL2182]
  • The three separate court databases for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland do not identify cases to the detail required. However, limited information on the number of cases for offences of perjury and perverting the course of justice is given in the tables.

    Table A: Number of defendants prosecuted for perjury and perverting the course of justice offences, England and Wales, 1995–1996
    Offence description19951996
    Perjury and false statements (also false declarations and representations made punishable by any statute)232247
    Attempting to pervert the course of justice (attempting to pervert the course of public justice—fabrication of false evidence, cause person to be wrongly convicted, interference with witness)2,8862,924
    Table B: Persons proceeded against for perjury and subornation, or for general attempts to defeat/pervert the ends/course of justice, Scotland, 1995–1996
    Offence description19951996
    Perjury and subornation
    False representation915
    Perjury58
    Subornation of perjury02
    Total1425
    General attempts to defeat/pervert the ends/course of justice
    Attempts to defeat the ends of justice142193
    Attempts to pervert the course of justice1,1451,315
    Defeat the ends of justice2310
    Pervert the course of justice11418
    Public mischief2936
    Total1,4531,572
    Table C: Specific perjury offence prosecutions in Northern Ireland, 1995–1997
    Offence description199519961997
    Perjury by a witness230
    Perverting the course of justice131114