Up to 40% of those sentenced at the crown court could equally have been dealt at an earlier stage by the magistrates court says Damian Green, Minister for Policing and Justice. Figures have been published stating that every 4 in 10 people could have been handed a sentence at a magistrates thus saving money and valuable time according to a speech due to be read this Wednesday by the justice minister. In his speech which is addressed to the magistrates, Mr Green is to state that a greater effort is needed from their behalf to ensure that cases are dealt with in the correct court and not be meaninglessly transferred. This event will kick off a further three scheduled events prior to a consultation which will take place assessing the role of the magistrates later in the year.
The plans are set to contribute towards a change in the criminal system and the way the courts operate. The overhaul will aid the magistrates by easing them off workload such as minor traffic offences which will be resolved outside the normal process in addition to introducing new powers for magistrates in order to deal with reoffending figures. Prior to making the speech the justice minister stated that magistrates are vital in the English legal system and are an example of a good citizen. In saying that the system is privileged to have such individuals he gave magistrates the credit for dedicating their time, skills and expertise against no cost. In his latest statement he did not hesitate to comment on the statistic by saying that 4 out of 10 people who were given a jail term in the crown court could also have been given the same by a magistrates. He explained that the government will look into why this is a common occurrence and if need be, do more in order to fully benefit from such volunteers.
The justice minister said that in order to have and maintain a fair and modern justice system the judiciary needs to hear the right cases in the appropriate court. Mr Green is anticipated to state that magistrates are to allocate their time on communal cases which make a greater difference to the local community. He commented that in simple road traffic offence cases where the defendant does not dispute the matter in question and where he may not even be present at the case, there is no need for 3 magistrates to spend their time looking at such a case.