Petition: Fix the broken criminal justice system 

Due to many years of underinvestment our criminal justice system is crumbling.

The system is facing an avalanche of problems, such as growing shortages of duty solicitors and independent experts; court closures; barriers to accessing legal aid; and crucial evidence not being disclosed in court until the last minute. Taken together, all of these problems represent a criminal justice system at breaking point – and without urgent action from the Government the system will fall apart.

For example:

> In 5 to 10 years’ time there are likely to be no criminal duty solicitors in some regions of England and Wales due to an ageing criminal duty solicitor population. Duty solicitors provide free legal advice at the police station to those arrested for a crime – people are entitled to this service by law

> Since 2010, 162 of the 323 magistrates’ courts in England and Wales have shut – a loss of 50.2% of the magistrates’ court estate

> The legal aid means test is preventing many people on low incomes from accessing justice - individuals earning more than £12,475 a year may be deemed ineligible for legal aid, or may have to pay contributions towards their legal costs that they cannot reasonably afford.

This year the government is reviewing spending across all of its departments. We’re asking it to invest more money to help resolve criminal justice issues.

Sign this petition to call on the Government to increase investment in the criminal justice system as part of this year’s spending review.

Sign the petition:

  • Access to Justice Committee

    This committee promotes improvements in legal aid and access to justice and is part of our Legal Affairs and Policy Board.

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