The criminal justice system is close to breaking point. Lack of shared accountability and resource pressures mean that costs are being shunted from one part of the system to another and the system suffers from too many delays and inefficiencies. There is insufficient focus on victims, who face a postcode lottery in their access to justice due to the significant variations in performance in different areas of the country. The system is already overstretched and we consider that the Ministry of Justice has exhausted the scope to make more cuts without further detriment to performance. The Government is implementing reforms to improve the system but we are concerned that users of the system won’t see the full benefit for another four years. There are opportunities for the Ministry to make improvements before then, including better sharing of good practice and making sure that everyone is getting things right first time.
23 May 2016