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Criminal justice watchdog unveiled

Criminal justice watchdog unveiled

A new Criminal Justice Board will help reform a system that does not deliver “the level of service the public expect, want or deserve,” a senior minister announced on Tuesday.

The watchdog will feature a senior judge and will help draw up a forthcoming package of reforms to improve the British justice system.

When Damian Green, the policing and criminal justice minister, reveals plans for the board he will say that it is needed to improve accountability, exploit technology and stop “unforgivable” delays.

In a speech to criminal justice stakeholders in London, he will say:

“To the wider public who come into contact with it – as witnesses, defendants or jurors, but most crucially, as victims – this is a system that often does not deliver the level of service they expect, want or deserve.”

The Government first outlined its plans for reforming the criminal justice system in a white paper last year and Mr Green’s speech will update stakeholders on progress. As well as the senior judge, the board will feature a policing and crime commissioner representative and Alex Marshall, chief executive of the recently-formed College of Policing. The new Criminal Justice Board will meet for the first time next week and its proposed reforms will be revealed in the spring.

Caroline Dunne, Consultant in the Criminal Defence team at IBB Solicitors comments:

“While these sentiments are no doubt what the general public would expect our legal justice system to provide one wonders how these aims can be achieved in an area where under-funding sees courts at breaking point.

“The continuous cost-cutting exercises have seen courts closed and many senior legal court advisors take early retirement packages. Witnesses and defendants must travel further to receive their “local” justice with courts becoming centralised.

“When there are so many demands on an ever smaller pot of public funds its hard to believe that the criminal justice system will be awarded the sort of sums needed to meet Mr Green’s expectations.”

We have one of the leading teams of criminal specialists in West London and the South East. If you are facing a serious criminal charge, contact a member of the IBB’s Criminal Defence team: call us on 08456 381 381 or email criminaldefence@ibblaw.co.uk.