Shaping the legal landscape

“FOR NEARLY 60 YEARS JUSTICE HAS BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF REIMAGINING THE JUSTICE SYSTEM. WE HAVE MUCH TO THANK IT FOR AND IT DESERVES OUR SUPPORT.”

LORD THOMAS OF CWMGIEDD, LORD CHIEF JUSTICE OF ENGLAND AND WALES

Human rights…

JUSTICE established a working group on human rights as early as 1983. From then on, it has worked to bring international human rights standards into domestic culture and law. It first argued for incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights in 1985. JUSTICE has acted in appeals to the European Court of Human Rights and assisted in the first case in which that court allowed third party intervention. It played a major part in the implementation of the Human Rights Act 1998 and, through submissions and third party interventions in key cases, has ensured the Act’s effectiveness.

Criminal justice…

JUSTICE successfully campaigned for legislation on the rehabilitation of offenders and for a national prosecution service. It has supported the expansion of restorative justice within the criminal justice system. It has, so far successfully, protected the right of jury trial in serious cases.

The rule of law…

JUSTICE argued for a judicial commission to play a role in the appointment of the judiciary in 1972, expanding on its analysis in a report in 1992. A judicial appointments commission was finally enacted in legislation in 2005. JUSTICE has played a leading role in the International Commission of Jurists as its British section. Lord Alexander, as JUSTICE’s Chair, delivered one of the earliest and most influential analyses of the illegality of the second Iraq war.

The European Union – justice and home affairs…

JUSTICE has played an important role in scrutinising the development of mutual recognition and judicial co-operation in criminal justice, ensuring that decisions in relation to the European Arrest Warrant are expressly subject to human rights considerations.

Access to justice…

JUSTICE has assisted in the development of legal aid schemes and European standards of provision within the European Union. It has supported the development and retention of an adequate legal aid scheme in the United Kingdom.

Good governance…

JUSTICE was a major force in the creation of the Parliamentary Ombudsman and improvements to the coroners’ courts.

Equality…

JUSTICE has argued for improvements to equality law and, in particular, the adequate transposition of EU legislation into domestic law. It has supported the creation of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

Immigration and asylum…

JUSTICE has consistently fought for improved law and practice in relation to immigration and asylum, first publishing a major report in 1974.

Miscarriages of justice and the Criminal Cases Review Commission…

For much of its first 40 years, JUSTICE took on cases of miscarriages of justice. One of the most famous involved the conviction of Patrick Murphy, David Cooper and Michael McMahon for the ‘Luton post office’ murder in 1969. Only in 1980 were the sentences of all three remitted after a long campaign in which JUSTICE played a major role. JUSTICE argued for, and supported the creation of the independent Criminal Cases Review Commission.