False Allegations

 

 

False Allegations

 

Memorandum submitted by Claire Curtis-Thomas MP to the Commons Home Affairs Committee when they investigated false allegations.

 

Thursday 20 June 2002

 

787

(Mrs Curtis-Thomas) …. I was not really interested in the outcome of any court proceedings, I was only interested in the integrity of the process that led to the outcome of cases ….

 

796

(Mrs Curtis-Thomas) I had hoped that reasonable argument might persuade people that there was something amiss here, but I failed miserably, in terms of getting anybody, Ministers or civil servants, to be remotely interested in the subject [of false allegations].
And there was another issue as well, which is, I had spoken to a number of people who had been instrumental in tryhing to change the processes within the criminal justice system, and they said to me, “If you don’t handle this well, all you’ll get is a backlash from various structures within the criminal justice system, and, instead of seeking to want to improve their processes, they will seek merely to defend the processes as they currently exist. Now I am far more interested in making things better than prople sort of confirming a position and not being prepared to move from that; so I pursued an argument, sort of gently, gently, you know, sort of quiet persuasion, talks, meetings with lots of people, but in the end I felt that perhaps I was not listened to simply because people thought I was a lone voice and therefore I could be dismissed. That was why I wrote to my colleagues and asked them if they might consider joining this group, so that I would no longer stand alone, as an individual with sort of a special interest, but be one of a much larger group of concern.

 

 

800

(Mrs Curtis-Thomas) I have examined the processes that are employed by the criminal justice system in these cases extensively and in detail, and I believe that the opportunity to abuse the processes is significant and that, if individuals choose to do so, the only outcome likely is a miscarriage of justice.

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