A special panel of the Legislative Council, an advisory body for the justice minister, on Monday included the introduction of plea bargaining in its proposal for reforming criminal investigative proceedings. Because of the danger that plea bargaining will increase the incidence of false charges, the panel should reconsider its plan.

The panel was originally established to explore ways to prevent false charges, including electronically recording the entire interrogation process. But while it has failed to call for the full electronic recording of interrogations, it appears eager — apparently under pressure from investigative authorities — to expand the arsenal of investigation methods available to investigators, including the introduction of plea bargaining as well as the expansion of communication interceptions in criminal investigation.

The panel would better serve the cause of justice by focusing on the original purpose for which it was established.