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Courts: Delivery of Justice

Volume 689: debated on Thursday 22 February 2007

Delivering Simple, Speedy, Summary Justice, published in July 2006, set out proposals to improve the speed and effectiveness of the magistrates’ courts in England and Wales.

Our proposals were piloted in magistrates’ courts at Camberwell Green and Thames, in London; Coventry, in the West Midlands; and Whitehaven and Workington, in Cumbria.

Following the success of these pilots in increased early guilty pleas, reduced adjournments and bringing cases to court quicker, I am very pleased to announce plans to implement these proposals in every magistrates’ court in England and Wales by the end of 2007. I am confident that these changes will improve performance of and confidence in the criminal justice system across the country.

A detailed evaluation of the pilots has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.