ZMS Legal News Roundup
Criminal Barristers Plan Protest Over Longer Court Hours
A proposal to extend court hours has proven deeply unpopular with barristers.
Criminal barristers are planning to protest against proposed longer court sessions set out by the Ministry of Justice. The MoJ is seeking an extension in order to deal with the huge backlog of cases.
Disclosing Evidence Early
The attorney-general, Suella Braverman QC, has spoken out saying that police and prosecutors must stop seeing the disclosure of evidence to defence lawyers as an administrative burden if they are to avoid miscarriages of justice in rape allegations.
Victims’ commissioner for England and Wales calls for ‘victims’ law’ to give them enforceable rights
There has been an interesting development in the pursuit of more victim involvement in criminal matters.
Dame Vera Baird QC recently called on the government to introduce a long-promised “victims’ law” that would give victims enforceable rights about how they are treated by the police and courts, alongside a legal right to have a say on the sentencing of a criminal.
Due to the pandemic, justice is being delayed even further for victims as the courts face an ever-increasing backlog.
“Repeated cuts to funding in the criminal justice system has meant that it was on its knees prior to COVID-19. We as a profession have been raising this issue with the government for years to no avail. This has to be addressed as the problems will simply not go away without investment” – Imogen Cox.
Justice being delayed as the courts face a backlog caused by the pandemic (telegraph.co.uk)
Number of people sentenced for offences hits five-year-low
Sentencing in the UK has hit a 5-year low. Between April and June, there was a drop of 63% in comparison to figures from 2015.
As Imogen Cox commented only last week, this is further evidence that COVID-19 has only made an already crumbling justice system worse. Number of people sentenced for offences hits five-year-low (telegraph.co.uk)