JUSTICE has produced a briefing on the Prisons and Courts Bill for the Second Reading. It addresses our initial concerns over the written and online processes created by Part 2, and the changes proposed to the judiciary and the Judicial Appointments Commission in Parts 3 and 4:
- For Part 2, there are a number of principles that we consider must be included in primary legislation to ensure that written and online processes are undertaken appropriately, yet these are missing from the Bill. It leaves important detail to be decided by secondary legislation, or procedural rules without setting out the crucial parameters for effective and fair operation. JUSTICE urges Parliament to set out clear principles to guide the future of online court procedures, and modernisation of the courts more generally.
- Part 3 of the Bill delegates judicial functions, but leaves the qualifications and functions to be specified in subsequent rules. These functions ought to be more clearly delineated in primary legislation.
- We wholly support measures in Part 4 to diversify the judiciary and will make specific recommendations once our working party on Judicial Diversity has reported in April.
Please feel free to contact us to discuss our briefing further.
JUSTICE will provide more detailed briefing explaining these concerns and proposing amendments at the Committee Stage of the Bill.