Friends Again

With the announcement over VHCCs it would seem that the Bar and the MoJ are friends again. I am not sure that the same can be said for the solicitors’ profession and the MoJ. The Law Society have always seemed on friendlier terms but there seems little genuine affection. And when it comes to the Bar and the solicitors, well, that is a topic far too controversial for little old me.

So now the Bar are friends again with the MoJ it is time for the Bar to tell the MoJ some of the things that only friends can really say to each other. You know the sort of thing – “you have halitosis” or “you get a bit whiffy towards the end of a warm day”.

So here goes – all this stuff about fees has been fiddling whilst Rome burns. The CJS, your CJS, no, our CJS stinks. It absolutely reeks of failure.

We have the judiciary warning us about the lack of resources in the system. We have the prisons inspector warning about prison overcrowding.

And I warn you now that there are daily examples of delay and disaster like this. As I have banged on about in past blogs, nothing is working correctly. I have appeared in seven cases on the trot where the papers have been served late or not at all, where the indictment has been wrong or where there has been further delay. It is not that I am unlucky. Paul Tubb wrote an open letter to the Minister detailing his experience of the farce we now call the CJS.

If I worked in the NHS or the Passport Office I would be called a “whistleblower”. As it is, I am just a friend telling a friend where they are going wrong. Be a pal and listen.

No more targets. No more pilot schemes. No more wifi. No more tinkering. No more restructures. Just invest a bit of time and a bit of money getting the basics right.

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