Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.





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Friday, 1 August 2014

A VICTIM CENTRED JUSTICE SYSTEM MAKES EVERYTHING OK....DOESN`T IT?

Enough has been written on the scandal involving Capita plc`s contract with HMCTS to supply interpreter services for the courts to provide future legal historians and others with evidence of how the world`s first and possibly finest and fairest legal system was brought to its knees by this and many other so called austerity requirements which have reduced the Justice budget by 25%. It would not be a big surprise if financial impropriety in Capita`s acquisition of Applied Language Solutions surfaces in a few years. Be that as it may another snippet of interpreter problems has made it to the pages of the Law Society Gazette. Notwithstanding Capita`s inefficiencies the anticipated economies have just not materialised. Add to that the enormous additional costs every time CPS is represented in court by an agent to overcome the deficiencies caused by 10% of its employees being cast out into the employment wilderness and one has a funding crisis just around the corner. The problem is that unlike similar situations in the NHS privatising all or parts of the courts service is not an answer. So this government insists that the courts have to pay their way and in addition to minor details eg having no ushers, over promoted and inefficient court administration staff, double or treble trial listings to keep everybody occupied and to hell with defendants` costs and inconvenience, that means that unless one is on the lowest income levels or facing the most serious criminal charges no funding is available for professional representation. In the civil courts it`s survival of the fittest and only relatively well to do litigants have the wherewithal to use a system which although it never offered a level playing field did to some extent allow for an equality of arms. But..........not to worry........with a victim centred justice system everything will be OK........won`t it?

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