All 2 Debates between Baroness Mallalieu and Lord Keen of Elie

Royal Commission on Criminal Justice

Debate between Baroness Mallalieu and Lord Keen of Elie
Wednesday 15th July 2020

(3 years, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Baroness Mallalieu Portrait Baroness Mallalieu (Lab) [V]
- Hansard - -

My Lords, I first declare an interest as a retired criminal barrister and the mother of a practising one. It is clear that the report of the royal commission is a very long way away. Will the Minister tell us what is happening right now to clear the trial backlogs, by reopening courtrooms that have been mothballed, opening new ones, using part-time judges—as the noble and learned Lord, Lord Garnier has just suggested—overhauling the case-listing system and ensuring that there is adequate technology to tackle the crisis in the criminal justice system, which is the result of a long period of chronic underfunding which far pre-dates the current crisis?

Lord Keen of Elie Portrait Lord Keen of Elie
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, we are looking at all the matters addressed by the noble Baroness and we have taken steps to open additional courts across the country. We continue with that endeavour to address the backlog of cases that has emerged since the pandemic.

Royal Commission on Criminal Justice

Debate between Baroness Mallalieu and Lord Keen of Elie
Wednesday 3rd June 2020

(4 years ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Lord Keen of Elie Portrait Lord Keen of Elie
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

The position with IPP prisoners has been addressed frequently in the past. Of course the legislation in 2012 was not and could not be retrospective. I cannot give a precise number as at today’s date of IPP prisoners held nor of their ethnic backgrounds, but I will write to the noble Lord with up-to-date information and place a copy of that letter in the Library of the House.

Baroness Mallalieu Portrait Baroness Mallalieu (Lab)
- Hansard - -

I declare a personal interest, having a daughter who is a practising member of the criminal Bar. While the commission is welcome and long overdue, the immediate problem needs to be dealt with today as the criminal justice system is on the point of collapse. What steps do the Government propose to take to increase the number of court sitting days, given that there are empty courts and centres throughout the country that were mothballed to save money; that there are recorders who are ready and willing to sit tomorrow alongside the judges; and, as has been said, that there is a backlog of some 30,000 trials, many of them with people in custody?

Lord Keen of Elie Portrait Lord Keen of Elie
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Along with the judiciary, we seek to utilise all the court capacity currently available to us by developing the use of remote hearings. We are also addressing how we can best accommodate jury trials within court accommodation. We will continue to monitor that to see where it can be improved and developed.