CPS warns legal aid reforms might undermine justice

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has argued that the government's proposals to limit legal aid must be 'consistent with' fundamental principles of justice. In its response to the consultation the CPS sets out six 'fundamental principles' of justice and claims:

'The CPS acknowledges the difficult financial position facing the Ministry of Justice and that savings have to be made, however any reforms must be consistent with, or support and enhance, the six fundamental principles set out above, if they are to maintain the fair and efficient delivery of criminal justice.'

The CPS also expresses its concern that 'proposals for the early guilty plea fee in the Crown Court... may create a perverse incentive' for some cases to move from the magistrates' court to the Crown Court, which could raise costs.