Robert Buckland is a thoroughly decent man who understands his oath to protect the independence of the judiciary. He believes in the rule of law and has warned politicians that not only that they must obey the law but that the attacks on the judiciary must stop. But it won’t make a the slightest difference to a Prime Minister who is rotten to the core. He will break any law and tell any lie to get whatever he wants which is whatever Cummings tells him he wants. At the moment it is the crude threat to judges to toe the line or else there will be political interference in their selection. Corbyn must be creaming in his jeans. It is a nod and a wink for him to install the ‘People’s judges’. This government disgusts me while a future Labour government terrifies me. What a choice at an election.
But let me get back to our broken criminal justice system. There are some simple solutions which are not sexy or headline grabbing. Open up the courts and let judges try cases. It is hard to believe but this is more controversial than it appears. The public don’t have a clue that our courts are lying idle and vulnerable defendants and witnesses are needlessly waiting for trials to go ahead.
Let me give some examples of idle Crown Courts that were published by the CBA yesterday.
Kingston. Three courts not sitting. Backlog 481 cases.
Inner London. Four courts not sitting. Backlog 777 cases.
Snaresbrook. Eight courts not sitting. Backlog 1106 cases.
And this is just a snapshot. This is happening in every court centre throughout the land. There has been a one percent increase in outstanding cases which now stand at 32,000. This is purely a money saving exercise. It is insane. And yet we are told about wonderful tech schemes and infrastructure investment. But what is the point if cases are not bring tried?
The next simple solution is to stop the police drawing out investigations for over a year. It’s terrible for the accused and frustrating for the accuser. Again, it is purely to save money.
Because of the closure of courts the next generation of judges is being denied invaluable training. Recorders aren't being allowed to sit. And there is a new twist in the latest round of senior criminal practitioners appointed as recorders. They are being allowed to sit after all. Yay! But in family courts. What a strange world that we live in.
It is much easier to attack soft judges and toughen up sentencing. The latest proposals are rather good. Firstly, for the most serious offences criminals should serve three quarters of their sentences and not half. The trouble is it’s the law already. For the most serious offences judges can give extended sentences which lengthens the licence period on release, but more importantly they are considered for release only after serving three quarters of their sentence.
And then there is ‘life meaning life’. Whole life sentences are available at the moment. Don’t forget life for child killers either. They are available as well. Oh, and have a look at the guidelines set out in schedule 21 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 which lay out the tariffs for life sentences. Murder with a firearm has a starting point of thirty years. And for life sentences you have to serve the full term before being considered for release.
Poor old Robert Buckland. A good man in a dishonest government. I wonder how long he will put up with this shit.
Oh, and the ‘judge’ with the gavel is just to piss you all off.