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Former chief prosecutor and protestors fear for the future of the justice system

According to the former chief prosecutor, Sir Keir Starmer, the justice system in England and Wales “is not fit for purpose for victims”.

He explained that since he was the DDP, the Crown Prosecution Service’s budget has been reduced by 27.5%, with another 5.5% cut expected in 2015-16.

He maintained that there were lots of minor cases going to magistrates’ courts which “simply don’t need to be there.

“There will come a point where really no further cuts can be sustained and I think we’re very, very close to that point.”

Proposals by the government include cutting fees in complex, high-cost cases by 30%, and in other crown court work by up to 18%. The planned £220m cuts prompted protests on Monday in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Winchester, Bristol, as well as Cardiff, Swansea, Caernarfon and Mold.

Criminal Lawyer Andrew Taylor commented: “It would bring the system of justice as we know (it), to an end.

“What David Cameron and his government are doing is literally to try and turn back the clock hundreds of years in terms of criminal justice and the rights of ordinary men and women.

“If you dumb justice down to have people doing jobs that they are not trained to do, and should not be doing, then at the end of the day the quality of justice will be diminished and that’s not good for Britain.

“Once you start meddling and messing with the system as Cameron and his government are doing, it will lead to more and more miscarriages of justice and yet even more expenditure to the exchequer,” he said.

“These cuts are nothing at all to do with saving money. In the long term they will cost the taxpayer money.”

 

Sources

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25647046

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-25618919

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/jan/06/courts-close-england-wales-lawyers-legal-aid-cuts

 

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