Creaking Criminal Justice

In todays newspapers four "criminal justice watchdogs" have flagged up a backlog of 54,000 cases awaiting disposal in the crown court. Much of this backlog undoubtably resulted from court rooms being left deliberately empty to save money on court staff and judges in the year leading up to the pandemic. This was short sighted and indicative of the governments inability to spend on things that didn't garner votes and weren't particularly eye catching. The governments new found ability to spend on everything from meals out to unstaffed nightinggale hospitals may mean that the time has come for them to show they've learnt an important lesson as far as justice is concerned.


Each Crown Court is trying in its own way to reduce the trial backlog. Some delight in proving that they can run multi defendant, multi week cases. others try to complete as many short trials as they possibly can to improve their "completed trial statistics"


In a system where courts cant be used because they are structurally or technically out of date, where staff are ground down and demoralised and where Covid runs rampant in barely confined spaces. There seems little help for a prompt solution, one way or another its seems inevitable that it will involve spending the money that it previously had been squirreled away for a rainy day. the rains have come and the day is today.

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