Complex and lengthy trials

The JUSTICE Working Party on Complex and Lengthy Trials had its first meeting in December, chaired by Sir David Calvert-Smith and including many leading experts in serious crime investigation, prosecution and defence. The problem of lengthy trials was discussed along with how the task of recommending change should be undertaken. The members agreed that they would chronologically review each stage of cases lasting more than three months at trial, from investigation through to verdict, to identify the practical shortcomings. All members were of the view that reviewing and disclosing evidence was a key area of consideration, as well as the way voluminous evidence is presented to a jury.

We are pleased to announce that the following members are serving on the working party: Douglas Day QC, Anand Doobay, Anthony Edwards, Stephen Gentle, Ben Myers QC, HHJ Rebecca Poulet QC, Clare Sibson, Ros Wright QC and Prof. Michael Zander QC. There will also be a sub-group on fraud, members supporting this group are: Neil Gerrard, Paul Jarvis, Monty Raphael QC and Tony Shaw QC. We are grateful to all our members for their involvement and to Simmons and Simmons who are supporting the working party with administrative and research assistance.

The working party will meet over the course of 2015, inviting evidence from practitioners involved in complex and lengthy trials where necessary, and aim to report its findings in early 2016.