In brief: Swifter youth justice, urges Lord Irvine

The Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine of Lairg QC, has urged magistrates to dispense swift justice to young offenders. He has identified what he believes is an adjournment culture in the youth court with the parties not expecting their cases to be disposed of or even progressed at the initial hearing. “Speed is essential in confronting young people with what they have done and the consequences which flow from that behaviour,” Lord Irvine wrote in a letter to 382 magistrates who chair the youth court panels in England and Wales. A three-month review examining the workability, costs and benefits of the civil justice and legal aid reforms is due to be announced this week by the Lord Chancellor.