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The justice gap

A London youth court magistrate welcomes a shake-up of the criminal justice system which tries to make it harder for the guilty to escape conviction by playing the system. When his own son was mugged on Clapham common, he discovered just how inhospitable the justice system is to victims of crime

The government’s latest criminal justice bill, due to become law this autumn, marks a new departure in criminal justice reform. For several decades now, nearly all judicial reforms have sought to ensure that no innocent person ever faces a guilty verdict. Now this new bill sets out “to rebalance the criminal justice system in favour of the victim and the community.” This mantra reoccurs throughout last year’s 159-page white paper that preceded the bill, along with observations such as: “a criminal trial is not a game under which a guilty defendant should be provided with a sporting chance.”

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