IBA Conference – Effective justice

The Government's drive to speed up criminal justice may lead to more miscarriages of justice, Law Society president Phillip Sycamore told the International Bar Conference on Thursday. “There are disturbing signs that saving money rather than securing justice is in danger of emerging as the driving force behind moves to speed up our justice system,” he told a meeting on miscarriages of justice last Thursday. He highlighted the risks posed by the Government's plan for “straightforward” guilty pleas in the magistrates courts to be dealt with in 24 hours, describing the plan as a “cheap conveyor belt system”. He also attacked the decision to allow lay prosecutors to prosecute guilty pleas in the magistrates courts.