• David Williams

What about criminal justice Chancellor?

Updated: Apr 16

Despite massive backlogs and underfunding of the criminal justice system, in his recent budget speech the Chancellor made no provision for addressing this issue. You can get a flavour of the Criminal Bar Association’s reaction here:

I understand that there are pressures on the public purse and obviously government needs to prioritise. However, this omission places continuing pressure on the system which has been described for some years now as being in a state of crisis.

This is not just an issue for the courts. It affects the entire justice system including the Police.

Because of the increasing number of delays in progressing cases it is increasingly common for some cases that should have been investigated to be dropped entirely. Even where the result is simply a delay, these can run to months or even years. This means that everyone involved, suspects, witnesses and especially victims can and do suffer. That is unacceptable.

However, if as appears to be the case there is no plan for addressing this issue, no tangible recognition of it, no prospect of a strategy for sorting the mess out, at least not for now, then that's a problem..

I get that funds are tight and there are other priorities. But if the government doesn't at least acknowledge there is an issue and offer some indication that it is on the to do list, then how can we have confidence that it will be addressed?

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