Government to name and shame

The Government says it will name and shame those found responsible for delays in the criminal justice system.

Home Secretary Jack Straw, Lord Chancellor Lord Irvine and Attorney General John Morris QC formed a united front in presenting targets for speeding up the court process and reducing crime.

They presented what is described as the first-ever co-ordinated strategic and business plan for the criminal justice system in England and Wales.

One change the Government wants to see within the next 12 months is a reduction of two days in the time taken between the arrest of offenders and their sentencing.

It says the justice system is beset by an adjournment culture which delays justice and prevents offenders from obtaining a speedy resolution.

Lord Irvine says: “At the moment in the courts, you get everybody blaming everybody else and there are no fixed standards against which you can judge performance.”

Morris, who has overall responsibility for the CPS, says: “We have to take action to remedy these deficits.”

He says the chief crown prosecutors, who start their new jobs this week, will be under strict instructions to ensure the smooth running of prosecution cases.

Rodney Warren, vice chairman of the Criminal Law Solicitors Association, says: “There should be justice with economy, not economy with justice.”