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President calls for criminal justice investment in spending review

30 August 2019

The government has announced a fast-tracked spending review on 4 September.

Our president Simon Davis has written to the chief secretary to the Treasury, Rishi Sunak MP, calling for urgent investment across the wider criminal justice system.

This follows the government's spending announcements on policing, prisons and the prosecution.

The letter highlights that the criminal justice system as a whole is crumbling and calls on the government to commit to the following in the spending review:

  • immediately provide the funds to uprate criminal legal aid fees for defence practitioners in line with inflation
  • make sure that sufficient funding is provided to the Ministry of Justice to adopt fully the recommendations of the criminal legal aid fee review which is expected to report in summer 2020, and the interim review scheduled for November 2019
  • conduct an independent economic review of the long-term viability of the criminal legal aid system
  • restore the criminal legal aid means test to its 2010 real-terms level

It is our view that if the wider system is left under-funded, it is at danger of falling apart.

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