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Blunkett unveils law reforms.

HOME Secretary David Blunkett was announcing a package of sweeping criminal justice reforms today, which will put him on a collision course with the legal establishment.

Ministers say the Criminal Justice Bill will "rebalance the system in favour of the victim".

Measures include allowing juries to know of a defendant's previous convictions, permitting judges to hear complex fraud trials without a jury and reversing the double jeopardy rule which prevents anyone being tried twice for the same crime - in serious cases.

Labour peer Baroness Helena Kennedy QC has already attacked the proposals, saying they amounted to "quite frightening" attacks on civil liberties.

Other criminal justice agencies have predicted the reforms could increase the prison population by up to 10,000.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 21, 2002
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