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“This should finally lay the issue to rest once and for all,” the Justice Secretary said.
"If you knock the burglar out cold, they're lying on the floor, and you then stick a knife in them, I regard that as grossly disproportionate." Chris Grayling is to change the law “at the first opportunity” to give stronger legal safeguards to those who use force to protect their family or property.
“At the moment, that lingering doubt, every time the issue arises, this question seems to come back: is the law on my side or not? “My view is that someone who defends themselves against an intruder should be interviewed as a witness not as a potential offender.” In his speech Mr Grayling, who was promoted in last month’s reshuffle, will strike a far more hardline tone than his predecessor, Kenneth Clarke.
It is understood that the Prime Minister wants to reform the justice system radically and hopes that forthcoming proposals will prove as significant as the overhaul of education and welfare.
Mr Grayling will pledge to increase the number of prison places before 2015 and to “deliver sentences that create a sense to the public that justice is being done”.
He will promise to ensure that all community sentences include a “punitive element” such as a fine or curfew.
Mr Cameron said that he was more interested in defending the "rights" of homeowners rather than burglars.
“We’re saying ‘you can do anything as long as it’s not grossly disproportionate," he said.
Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, said last month that householders had the right to use force “to get rid of the burglar”.
Mr Grayling stressed that he did not wish to move towards an American-style system where people were effectively free to kill anyone entering their property.
Mr Grayling also disclosed on Monday night that he was working on significant reforms to human rights laws, an issue which is expected to form the centrepiece of the next Conservative election manifesto.
He did not rule out the Conservatives backing a plan for Britain to opt out of the European Court of Human Rights if David Cameron is re-elected.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph on Monday night, Mr Grayling said that he wanted to “finally lay the issue to rest once and for all” following a series of high-profile cases where home owners who have confronted criminals have been arrested.