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Magistrates and the Swift and Sure Justice Paper in United Kingdom

“In 2012 the Government issued a consultation paper entitled Swift and Sure Justice. In this paper it is considering allowing single magistrates to rule on uncontested, low level criminal cases. Some pilot community justice centres have been set up which are modelled on similar centres that have been established in the US. These centres seek to bring together the courts and a range of relevant agencies, such as the social services and drug charities, to tackle the underlying problems in a community that lead to crime and anti-social behaviour. As well as bringing offenders to justice, the centres aim to develop crime prevention, solve community problems and offer mediation for minor disputes. The consultation paper is looking at extending the use of community justice centres nationally. It is considering allowing magistrates, sitting on their own, to operate from community centres and police stations as well as hearing cases via video link to cells, to deal (potentially within hours of arrest) with low-level cases where the defendant has pleaded guilty.At the moment the average time between an offence and sentencing is 140 days. Magistrates would sit in the evenings and earlier in the mornings as well as at weekends to speed up the justice system, depending on local demands. Lawyers would not necessarily be involved in the case. These reform proposals are partly inspired by how efficiently the magistrates’ courts reacted to the riots in the summer 2011, sitting through the night to process rioters rapidly through the system.The plans also aim to increase the role of magistrates in out-of-court disposals, currently handled by the police.”

Source: English Legal System (Elliot)

See Also

Lay Magistrates
Professional Judges
Justice´s Clerk
Magistrates
Legal Professionals
Legal Professions
Community Justice Centres



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  • Article Name: Magistrates: Swift and Sure Justice Paper
  • Author: International
  • Description: Magistrates and the Swift and Sure Justice Paper In 2012 the Government issued a consultation paper entitled Swift and [...]

This entry was last updated: November 4, 2020

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