'Justice delayed is often justice denied': Public Accounts Committee call for overhaul of criminal justice system

'Justice delayed is justice denied' - Chairwoman of Public Accounts Committee slams criminal justice system for 'failing' witnesses and victims

The Public Accounts Committee has delivered a damning report on the criminal justice system

Friday, May 27, 2016

The criminal justice system in the UK is "near breaking point" says the chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), with the result that witnesses often find giving evidence so stressful that they would hesitate to repeat the experience.  

MPs have warned the system is "bedevilled by long-standing poor performance, including delays and inefficiencies", with cutbacks affecting the ability of courts to deliver justice effectively.

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch in East London, told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "It's a very complex beast. The departments of the Ministry of Justice are disjointed and overstretched.

"Each time one bit goes wrong, it has an impact on the other parts with the victims and witnesses getting lost. 

"That's just not good enough."

Hillier explained that one key problem was that witnesses were not given enough consideration.  

"We found examples of witnesses who had different information from different parts of the system," she said.

"You have to accommodate the accused, of course, but not to the extent where witnesses are giving up. Over half of witnesses said they wouldn't do it again.

"Justice delayed is often justice denied."