The Justice system is in crisis.
Recent disclosure scandals have only brought to public attention what we as lawyers already knew about problems with timely and adequate disclosure of a prosecution case.
But disclosure problems are only part of the problem with the current state of British Justice.
Open Justice is under threat, from an accelerated programme of digitalisation and court closures (and now we find out that Courts have been flogged off on the cheap)
The part-privatised probation service is failing, and the prison service at breaking point.
Underpinning this, and all the issues within the criminal justice system, is the chronic underfunding of a legal system which has seen cuts year on year.
Criminal lawyers and Justice campaigners have been campaigning on single issues or acting reactively to the latest catastrophe or cut, rather than focussing on the bigger picture.
It is time to proactively set out the case for the properly funded efficient Justice system that we all deserve.
I have, with the LCCSA, been devising a CHARTER FOR JUSTICE which we hope will encapsulate in a short and simple way some key principles that anyone who cares about justice can unite behind and campaign for, and politicians can act on.
The LCCSA are engaging with their members and other practitioner groups, as well as working with the Howard League for Penal Reform, and will jointly launch the CHARTER FOR JUSTICE at the Law Society, at 6pm on 26th March. This free but ticket-only event will hear from key-note speakers, but all who attend are invited to participate.