“Let us not kid ourselves here, we need to be realistic. Whatever the original intention of Sir Robin Auld, the pushing of these schemes is not to do with ensuring justice, it is not to do with protecting the public, it’s not even to do with sparing witnesses where possible, it is to do with ramming through cases as quickly as possible, wringing as many guilty pleas as possibly, with the ultimate aim of saving money – pure and simple. Whether the changes are right or wrong (and in fairness it’s probably a mixture of the two) we have sleepwalked into what is a fundamental twisting of the adversarial process and a fundamental change to our criminal justice system.”
Ian West got into a bit of hot bother when he let rip with a judge and said what many of us would want to say when being put on the naughty step for failing to properly engage with ‘case management’. I’m not going to look into the rights and wrongs of that here. Suffice to say that I wouldn’t have dealt with matters the way that Ian did. And, whilst I can see that legitimate criticism can attach to his behaviour, it seems to me that Matthew Scott put it best when saying it was a bit of a storm in a teacup.
But, what is at the heart of all this is the ‘brave new world’ of case management. Although I say ‘new’, it is now heading towards being a teenager, with all the tantrums…
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