Responding to the Treasury’s Spending Review announcement, Chair of the Bar Council, Amanda Pinto QC, said: “The announcement of extra funding for the justice system in today’s Spending Review is a ray of hope in terms of fixing the many problems our justice system faces. It is a sign that this government understands the importance of investing in the entire justice system from start to finish.
"This injection of funding will make a difference in the short-term, and a number of today’s announcements reflect what the Bar Council recommended to the Treasury. But it must not be a flash in the pan: to tackle the significant challenges in the courts and wider justice system, including the backlogs in the criminal courts, which are the inevitable consequence of decades of under-investment, the government must now ensure the system is sustainable in the long-term to ensure access to justice for everyone.
"This announcement is a welcome step. We hope it will prove to be a pivotal moment for restoring public confidence in our justice system.”
Notes to editors
The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced:
- an additional £337 million for the criminal justice system in England and Wales. This includes £275 million to manage the downstream demand impact of 20,000 additional police officers and reduce backlogs in the Crown Court caused by Covid-19. This settlement provides a total of £40 million to offer additional support to victims of crime, including victims of domestic abuse. It continues the £15 million provided at Budget 2020 to deliver the government’s commitment on victim support
- £119 million additional funding to support the ongoing response of the wider justice system to Covid-19. This includes £76 million to further increase family court and employment tribunal capacity to reduce backlogs and £43 million to ensure that courts and prisons remain Covid-safe
- continued funding to progress the probation reform programme, which will help to strengthen offender supervision and reduce reoffending
- £315 million capital funding to improve the condition of the existing prison estate and £105 million for improvements to the court estate.