Concern for the health of the justice system.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/cb1c8c48-de02-11e8-8bc6-571c458bfbb3

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Concern for the health of the justice system.

Sir, I agree with Mukul Chawla, QC, that the criminal justice system has been deprived of proper investment for more than 20 years (“The justice system is both starved and chaotic”, Alice Thomson, Oct 31). Successive governments have cut and cut again. The criminal Bar trains the government’s lawyers and judiciary of tomorrow at no cost to government. It is time that the government started to appreciate this and stopped taking us for granted.

The tax produced in VAT and tax receipts from the legal profession in the UK far exceeds the legal aid and courts budget necessary to produce effective justice and properly remunerate criminal lawyers, judges and the courts. Imaginative ideas such as utilising the confiscated proceeds of crime to increase the legal aid budget and directors’ mandatory insurance for fraud cases should be urgently considered. The time for austerity must now end for the criminal justice system before it is too late.

Jason Sugarman, QC
Foundry Chambers, London WC2