Jury trial is above issues of budget

Saturday 6 November 2010 at 9:01 pm | In News | Post Comment
Louise Casey
The independent Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses Louise Casey, called for the end of jury trials for minor crimes stating that such trials took up valuable court time and money which would be better used elsewhere.

Subsequently, The Law Society warned that any conviction for dishonesty could have a very severe effect on a person’s employment potential, their ability to travel freely and their insurance costs, and stressed that they should have the right to a trial by jury before facing such weighty consequences.

The chairman of the Law Society, Desmond Hutton, stated that such values were above the issue of accounting and budgets.

Casey called for:

* an end to the right to trial by jury for defendants in petty crime cases which clog up the court system;
* the prevention of late guilty pleas which allow criminals to string out their cases at the expense of the public.

In her report “Ending the Justice Waiting Game: a plea for common sense”, Ms Casey argues that victims are the “poor relation” in the criminal justice system, noting that less than 2 per cent of the cost of the criminal justice system was spent on victims.

The report is here:

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