Responding to the Government’s end-to-end rape review report and action plan, Derek Sweeting QC, Chair of the Bar Council, said: “The investigation and prosecution of allegations of rape has been crying out for reform. The Government’s recognition of this and commitment to turn things around is a positive step. Equally important is the acknowledgement that fair trials are essential: everyone involved in a case must be treated fairly for justice to be done.

“But without better funding for every part of the criminal justice system which deals with these cases, the Government’s ambitious action plan will fail. Barristers both prosecute and defend these cases, so we see all sides of the challenge in providing access to justice through a critically under-resourced criminal justice system. The Bar Council will continue to engage with Government on this issue. In return, the Government needs to deliver the resources to make good on its promises.”