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27May2016

The criminal justice system is close to breaking point

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Conor Johnstone

Countless drink driving cases are won as a direct result of failings made by the Crown Prosecution Service. In 2015, over 90% of our drink driving cases that proceeded to trial did so with missing evidence. This would usually lead to an acquittal. Disclosure of evidence in a timely fashion is crucial to a fair trial. The report published by the Public Accounts Committee goes someway in explaining why the system is close to breaking point.

The Public Accounts Committee:

The criminal justice system is close to breaking point. Lack of shared accountability and resource pressures mean that costs are being shunted from one part of the system to another and the system suffers from too many delays and inefficiencies. There is insufficient focus on victims, who face a postcode lottery in their access to justice due to the significant variations in performance in different areas of the country. The system is already overstretched and we consider that the Ministry of Justice has exhausted the scope to make more cuts without further detriment to performance. The Government is implementing reforms to improve the system but we are concerned that users of the system won’t see the full benefit for another four years. There are opportunities for the Ministry to make improvements before then, including better sharing of good practice and making sure that everyone is getting things right first time.

The full review can found below:

The Public Accounts Committee – Efficiency in the criminal justice system

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Conor Johnstone

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