Time to rebalance government rhetoric?

6 August 2009

A Committee of MPs says the government has fallen into error with its rhetoric on rebalancing the criminal justice system.

“Telling a victim that their views are central to the criminal justice system, or that the prosecutor is their champion, is a damaging misrepresentation of reality. Expectations have been raised that will inevitably be disappointed. Furthermore, the criminal justice system is set up to represent the public rather than individuals and there are good reasons for this. The CPS’s role as an independent arbiter of decisions about prosecution is critical. Explaining this role clearly to victims such that their expectations are managed realistically, rather than raised then disappointed, is vital”.

H&R welcomes this insight. A great deal of unnecessary human misery is caused by over-zealous prosecutors. We need a prosecution service which is dedicated to truth and justice, not to scoring political points or winning votes for politicians.

For further information, see the House of Commons Justice Committee Report “The Crown Prosecution Service: Gatekeeper of the Criminal Justice System”.

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