Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Senior Judge Attacks Government

The most senior judge in England, The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, has attacked the Government's approach to introducing new legislation (reflecting the "politicisation" of sentencing) and the time it now takes for a judge to be appointed (because of a new judicial appointments system) had caused a shortage of judges.

Very similar to the problems the Government had with the NHS when they introduced a new system for newly-qualified doctors applying for jobs. But I digress. The judge, however, does not.

In his report, the judge highlighted various reasons for the problems, including a series of computer glitches. In addition to the shortage of judges caused by the new appointments system, he also cited a backlog in repairs to court buildings. "It is vital that the system is better placed to phase the implementation of new appointments to take over from those being replaced within a shorter period of time," he said.

The judge added that the state of the 700 buildings in the court estate was an area of "ever-growing concern". According to his report, the maintenance backlog stands at £200m, of which £90m was required for "urgent operational requirements".

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