Responding to the new Western Circuit report, “This Doesn’t Look Like Justice”, Chair of the Bar Council, Amanda Pinto QC said:

“This significant report exposes the real-life consequences of closed courtrooms and cuts to judges’ sitting days. The problems highlighted by the Western Circuit are by no means confined to one region. This is a national issue which is fast becoming a national crisis. Currently, crime is rising but courts are sitting empty. We are seeing an increasing time gap from an offence allegedly being committed to the end of the court case. The many months of delay and the false starts in hearing cases, are undermining effective access to justice for all those caught up in the criminal courts.

“This trend must be reversed. Investment must be made across the whole of the criminal justice system. With thousands more police and many more CPS prosecutors due to be recruited and, as a result, more crime likely to be detected, investigated and prosecuted, how will the justice system cope when our courts can’t function effectively now?”