JusticeWatch: Death by a thousand cuts

Posted by - 15th November 2019

Perverse incentives Conviction targets may be behind the decline in rape prosecutions which are at their lowest since 2008 – as revealed by freelance journalist Melanie Newman in an investigation for the Law Society Gazette. The CPS code of practice states that offenders must be charged if a conviction is in the public interest and is

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JusticeWatch: Courts ‘strained to breaking’

Posted by - 1st November 2019

Courts ‘strained to breaking’ MPs called for a ‘pause for breath’ on the government’s £1.2bn court modernisation programme as well as an ‘immediate moratorium’ on court closures (as reported on the Justice Gap). In a damning report that described the justice system as in ‘administrative chaos’, the House of Commons’ justice committee warned that the

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JusticeWatch: Inequality of arms

Posted by - 4th October 2019

Priti scary ‘We are coming after you,’ threatened Priti Patel last week at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. The ‘you’ being criminals, of course (as opposed to voters in marginal seats). The home secretary, who described herself as a ‘daughter of immigrants’ who needed ‘no lectures from the north London metropolitan liberal elite’, promised

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JusticeWatch: Breaking point

Posted by - 27th September 2019

Breaking point The latest criminal court statistics ‘sparked alarm among lawyers’  over ‘appalling’ crime detection rates and a growing backlog of cases, reported Jemma Slingo for the Law Society’s Gazette (here). According to the MoJ stats, the number of Crown court receipts and disposals ‘have fallen steadily over the past three years. While receipts rose

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JusticeWatch: ‘Justice for the people – not the privileged few’

Posted by - 20th September 2019

Justice for the people – ‘not just the privileged few’ A Corbyn government would deliver ‘hundreds of new social welfare lawyers’, as well as set up ‘dozens more law centres in areas that have most suffered from Conservative cuts’. The new law centres would be occupied by 200 lawyers specialising in areas such as benefits,

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JusticeWatch: a justice system ‘breaking at every point’

Posted by - 6th September 2019

Sometimes, you just want to live in a world that is a bit kinder Esme Madill, a former social worker and trainee solicitor at Islington Law Centre’s Migrant & Refugee Children’s Legal Unit (MiCLU), spoke to Fiona Bawdon for the Justice Gap’s All My Days column profiling the work done by Justice First Fellows funded

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JusticeWatch: Chronically under-funded

Posted by - 30th August 2019

Chronically under-funded magistrates courts ‘Most of us will hope never to set foot in one, but thousands end up appearing in court each year. What is it like in Wales’ 14 magistrates courts – and how are they working?’ asked journalist Jenny Rees for BBC News Wales. She spent a lively day with defence solicitor

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JusticeWatch: 2019 Justice First Fellowship scheme opens

Posted by - 23rd August 2019

Courts idle as cases stack up Nearly half of all crown courts across England and Wales were left empty on Monday this week, the Guardian’s Owen Bowcott reported, despite lawyers claiming that the backlog of criminal cases had never been so long. ‘Law experts suggested MoJ cuts to the number of sitting days and recorders

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