Friday, July 10, 2009

Worrying Court underfunding report

I have just read a report in the Times which makes it clear that the current problems in the courts due to underfunding are only going to get worse.

The report states that Judges are having to sit longer hours and for more days, and that a recruitment ban on all but the most exceptional posts is being imposed. This at a time when claims to the courts are only going to go up.

We lawyers have repeatedly said that there is not much point in having legal rights if it is impossible to enforce them. The Times reports states

Sir Mark Potter, Britain’s most senior family judge, called for urgent action to tackle growing delays in child abuse cases, exacerbated by a surge in work after the Baby Peter case. He warned that judges and court officials face the “formidable problem” of accommodating the extra work in an “already strained system”.
The report also points out that criminals are opting to plead not guilty as they know that by the time the case comes to trial the event will be such a long time ago that witnesses will have forgotten all about it, and they are more likley to get off.

This is all very, very worrying.

Although I did suggest a couple of years ago various ways the courts could try to raise a bit more cash. This might be the time to consider this sort of thing.

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