abour has vowed to get “all hands on deck” to tackle the courts’ backlog, opening the door for additional staff to take on more serious cases.
The party says it would pave the way for a two-thirds increase in the number of people serving as crown prosecutors by removing an “unnecessary and outdated” restriction on the duties of those currently working on the next rung.
As it stands, Labor says there are 127 criminal justice specialists employed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as associate prosecutors, handling “less contentious cases” in magistrate courts.
They would tend to work on things like bail applications or criminal proceedings related to less severe, non-prison sentences, the party said.
But Labor said the law currently prevents these staff, many of whom have years of experience, from taking on more “serious or controversial cases” handled by magistrate-level crown prosecutors, such as preliminary hearings for criminal offenses expected to be held. be sent for trial at the Crown Court.
That’s the kind of can-do, common sense action we need, getting all hands on deck to clear the backlogs that grip Britain, rather than a Tory government with its head in the sand
Overall, it said the only way for them to move up the ranks is to retrain as generalist lawyers, which can be “expensive and time-consuming.”
Labor therefore wants to change the legislation to give these employees more time for more serious or controversial cases, so that they can work to clear the backlog of the courts.
They should probably apply to become Crown Prosecutors, but the idea is that this process would be much faster and easier than retraining, maximizing the resources already available to the CPS.
Labor shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry said: “As the epidemic of violent crime, fraud and antisocial behavior plagues our communities, the government should explore every practical option that could help address the backlogs in our justice system, and the wheels of justice turn faster again.
“In this group of Associate Prosecutors currently employed by the CPS, we have 127 experienced legal professionals who are not being used to the maximum in our courts due to an unnecessary and outdated legal limitation on the types of cases they are allowed to handle.
“Labour would immediately lift that restriction and allow that staff to apply for Crown Prosecutor positions.
“That’s the kind of can-do, common sense action we need, getting all hands on deck to clear the backlogs that grip Britain, rather than a Tory government with its head in the sand .”