Criminal justice

Justice can’t be delivered on the cheap

Plans to hold a commission into the criminal justice system must not delay long-overdue investment, said Law Society of England and Wales president Simon Davis.

“We all want swift, fair and effective justice, but it cannot be delivered on the cheap,” said Simon Davis.

“A thorough review, although needed, must be backed up with a significant cash injection across the board – to police and prosecutors, but also to the courts and to the defence profession: an endangered species at risk of becoming extinct.

“This is the only way to bring back our justice system from the brink. A failure to do so, or to invest partially, risks more crime falling through the cracks of investigation and prosecution.”

The justice system is at breaking point. Since 2011/2012, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has lost a quarter of its budget.

Between 2015 and 2019 the number of investigative police officers has decreased by 34%, or almost 10,000 officers. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has also suffered cuts of around 35%.

“In the last decade, almost half of civil and criminal courts in England and Wales have closed,” Simon Davis said.

Among the 30 or so bills brought forward by Boris Johnson’s new government are measures which fell when the snap election was called in October.

These included:

Divorce and Domestic Abuse Bill

“Together the Domestic Abuse Bill and new divorce legislation have the power to change millions of lives across England and Wales,” said Simon Davis.

“We welcome the news that these important issues will be addressed in the new parliamentary session and look forward to working with the government on these vital pieces of legislation.”

Steps to limit claims against the MoD

Simon Davis said: “The British military is respected across the world for their high standards and values. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) owes our armed forces a duty of care.

“Legislation must maintain the MoD’s legal and public accountability. We will work with the government to ensure legal claims are conducted appropriately.”

About the Law Society

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Press office contact: Ben Davies | | 020 3189 1880

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