Damian Green: Unacceptable delays in criminal justice system

There are unacceptable delays in Magistrates' Courts which slows down justice for victims, said Justice Minister Damian Green as he announced plans to modernise the system.

In a speech about criminal justice reform Damian Green set out his vision to:


  • Address the causes of inefficiency by working together with the police, judiciary, Crown Prosecution Service and court services.
  • Get rid of regional inequalities when dealing with cases. Areas such as London and Wales appear to take longer for court proceedings than the North East and North West.
  • Have a digital transformation of the entire criminal justice process.
  • Improve how courts deal with high volume cases.

Damian Green said:

'It is unacceptable that only 44 per cent of trials go ahead on the day they have been listed, if every day only 44 per cent of trains left the stations, or 44 per cent of planned hospital operations took place there would be a national uproar. Yet every day this happens in the Magistrates' courts.

'It is simply not good enough. So I want to see a far higher proportion of effective trials that go ahead the first time that they are listed. Ineffective trials should be the exception, not the rule.'

Damian Green speech - Criminal Justice Reform Lecture