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January 27, 2022
Making child remand a last resort

The Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill proposes legislation which will increase the prison population… Read more

December 22, 2021
Does the defendant in the magistrates’ court get a fair hearing?

The Bellamy review of criminal legal aid doesn’t pull its punches. It paints a picture… Read more

December 10, 2021
Is justice for victims always criminal justice?

To what extent can an adversarial system of justice meet the needs and wants of… Read more

May 7, 2021
Prosecuting mental health – accountability or criminalisation?

The government is set to increase the maximum sentence for people who assault emergency workers… Read more

March 6, 2021
Tried and tested? New proposals for resolving crime without going to court

The practice of resolving crimes without going to court is in flux. HMICFRS has suggested… Read more

February 18, 2021
What is the future for legally aided criminal defence?

How do we manage a criminal defence service in an age of austerity and Covid?… Read more

January 4, 2021
Does it matter if those accused of crime plead guilty or not guilty?

Just before Christmas news leaked out that the government was getting cold feet about decriminalising… Read more

December 17, 2020
Known unknowns? The crazy world of pre-charge bail policy

It’s too easy to make policy based on assumptions. We all have beliefs we don’t… Read more

September 22, 2020
Do people care about judicial and magistrates’ diversity any more?

Once the diversity of the judiciary, or rather the lack of it, made national news…. Read more

September 18, 2020
The sentencing white paper: tough on crime but tough enough on the causes?

The sentencing white paper – actually called “A Smarter Approach to Sentencing” is a curious… Read more

July 23, 2020
Are video links causing the criminal justice system to slow down?

Recently Boris Johnson described zoom calls as a miracle, but that sometimes there is “no… Read more

May 20, 2018
The illusion of open justice

The judiciary seem exercised by the future of open justice. They are consulting judges and… Read more

May 8, 2018
More in hope than expectation? The government’s digital court reform programme

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the courts need to become more efficient. Saving… Read more

February 17, 2018
Court closures – trying to get a quart into a pint pot?

How many courts do you need to close before the system grinds to a halt? … Read more

February 15, 2018
Court closures – trying to get a quart into a pint pot?

How many courts do you need to close before the system grinds to a halt? … Read more

March 18, 2017
Do criminals deserve to be punished three times for one crime?

“An eye for an eye” is a strongly held belief – that those who cause… Read more

March 15, 2017
The Prisons and Courts Bill – a Pandora’s Box? (2)

Transform Justice has published a briefing on the court reform aspects of the Prisons and Courts… Read more

February 24, 2017
The new prisons and courts bill – a Pandora’s Box?

The criminal courts charge was a policy fiasco – a charge to be applied to… Read more

November 16, 2016
Is there institutional racism in the criminal justice system?

The MacPherson report on Stephen Lawrence defined institutional racism as “the collective failure of an… Read more

July 29, 2016
Why people don’t care how much the criminal justice system costs

  The criminal justice system in England and Wales costs a lot – at least… Read more

July 16, 2016
A letter to the new Lord Chancellor

  Dear Liz, Welcome to your new role. You are faced with a number of… Read more

January 28, 2016
Can Gove change the prison debate single handed?

“It is because I am a Conservative that I believe in the rule of law… Read more

November 6, 2015
Should the justice system financially penalise the innocent?

“If someone is dragged through the courts through no fault of their own and is… Read more

November 2, 2015
Court costs hurt the innocent

New report published today by Transform Justice on whether the innocent should end up bankrupt through getting… Read more

November 2, 2015
Should the justice system financially penalise the innocent?

“If someone is dragged through the courts through no fault of their own and is… Read more

November 1, 2015
The politics of the judiciary

Should we know how judges vote?  Jeremy Paxman pointed out in the Financial Times on… Read more

October 22, 2015
How can the Ministry of Justice get out of a massive financial hole?

It was reported in the Times today that Michael Gove is considering imposing a “levy”… Read more

August 26, 2015
How did the criminal court charge get through parliament?

There are now many protests about the criminal courts charge – protests that have increased… Read more

July 17, 2015
Court closure – who cares?

The announcement of the proposed closure of 91 courts came as little surprise to watchers… Read more

July 9, 2015
The invisibility of magistrates – in fact and in policy

How often do you see magistrates – in plays, the news or in documentaries? I… Read more

June 3, 2015
Are the cuts to some parts of justice costing more than they save?

I’m concerned that the Ministry of Justice is not making the savings it intended to… Read more

May 1, 2015
Do politicians use evidence in talking about crime?

Sense about science are worried that politicians don’t always use evidence correctly when talking about… Read more

April 14, 2015
criminal justice and the manifestos – the curate’s egg

The political parties who have produced manifestos so far all deal with crime and justice,… Read more

February 27, 2015
are new laws the answer to victims’ dissatisfaction with the system?

Victims have long voiced unhappiness about their treatment by the criminal justice system.  Their unhappiness… Read more

February 13, 2015
Judges feel they are subject to too much change and insufficient reward

A fascinating study has been published based on a survey of paid judges at every… Read more

February 1, 2015
can we change the debate on criminal justice?

“Committing a crime is always a choice. That’s why the primary, proper response to crime… Read more

January 28, 2015
Radical ideas from Leveson – the impact of prisoner transport on criminal courts

The new Leveson report on efficiency in criminal proceedings contains a number of radical ideas.  One… Read more

December 18, 2014
Reading between the lines of the Lord Chief Justice’s annual report

The Lord Chief Justice cannot criticise government policy so its worth both reading the text… Read more

December 12, 2014
New report on difference in cost between lay magistrates and DJs

The way work is shared between lay magistrates and district judges can be a bone… Read more

December 6, 2014
Right on crime – is it only possible for conservatives to do penal reform?

Danny Kruger presented a great programme for BBC Radio 4 on “Right on Crime”, the… Read more

November 9, 2014
The controversy surrounding giving magistrates greater sentencing powers

I’m not sure why Simon Hughes wanted to stop magistrates having increased sentencing powers but… Read more

October 23, 2014
Are judges more or less independent than in 2000?

What has happened to judicial independence and accountability in the last twenty years?  There have… Read more

September 6, 2014
Doing what works to cut crime – the new LibDem ideas

The LibDems have always supported human rights and open justice.  Its a pity that they… Read more

June 21, 2014
Policy change

a small example of how a judge contributed to policy change. I’ve heard a number… Read more

June 10, 2014
Has the West London drugs court closed and does it matter?

The West London Drugs Court was set up in 2007, led by a charismatic District… Read more

April 26, 2014
a piecemeal approach to the fall out from cutting legal aid?

The number of people involved in court or tribunal cases who don’t have a lawyer… Read more

April 20, 2014
Is Labour radical enough on criminal justice?

Labour has published a policy paper on criminal justice (and other issues) for consultation with… Read more

April 14, 2014
A letter to the Lord Chief Justice

Dear Lord Chief Justice, Of all your recent public appearances, I most appreciated your appearance… Read more

February 3, 2014
Justice reinvestment – the holy grail for criminal justice reform?

The most effective means of reducing offending lie outside the remit of the justice system.  … Read more

December 20, 2013
Is further courts privatisation credible?

The involvement of G4S and Serco with fraudulent tagging has been well publicised.  The two… Read more

November 28, 2013
When is a pilot not a pilot?

Post riots, the Ministry of Justice announced that they were going to pilot more flexible… Read more

November 23, 2013
Who shot JR?

Can justice reinvestment be successful in a very centralised political system?  That was the question… Read more

November 8, 2013
The schism within this government on localism

Is this government localist or not?  In the justice sphere they veer every which way…. Read more

September 30, 2013
A seemingly dry document?

A lot of the documents coming out of the Ministry of Justice and the Judicial… Read more

September 26, 2013
A new dawn for Labour justice policy?

Sadiq Khan, Shadow Justice Minister, addressed the Labour Party Conference this week.  The speech didn’t… Read more

July 26, 2013
No privatisation of the courts…or is there?

In late May the Times revealed that the government was planning to privatise courts administration…. Read more

June 16, 2013
Does the Secretary of State for Justice need to be a lawyer?

Chris Grayling is the first Lord Chancellor not to be a lawyer (I think). Previously… Read more

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