Top judge urges tougher community service as alternative to prison

Fewer criminals should be jailed and tougher community punishments developed as an alternative to imprisonment, the lord chief justice has urged.

Appearing before MPs on the justice select committee on Monday, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd also warned there was a shortage of high court judges partially because of cuts in their pension rights and that up to 40 would need to be recruited by over the next few years.

The most senior judge in England and Wales welcomed the introduction of US-style “problem-solving courts”, whereby offenders are brought back regularly to have their sentences and progress reviewed by a judge after conviction.

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New protocol for criminal defence on prosecution ‘failures’

A practitioner group is challenging what it claims to be ‘repeated’ failures by prosecutors to disclose information on time by issuing a step-by-step guide for criminal defence solicitors.

The Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association’s ‘protocol on prosecution inadequate or late disclosure’, published this week, has been adopted ‘due to the repeated failure of the prosecution to serve inadequate initial details of their case… and also to deal with late disclosure by the prosecution or failure to comply with time limits for service of evidence’.

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