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Monday 09 November 2020

Petition for Justice: “Access to justice is a fundamental right and it must be protected” says FDA

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The FDA has sent its petition for justice to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, ahead of the government’s spending review later this month.

“As the caseload backlog soars past 45,000 and FDA members in the CPS report a workload crisis, it is vital that the Chancellor invests in the justice system,” says the FDA’s National Offer for the Crown Prosecution Service, Duncan Woodhead.

The petition has over 2,500 signatures, and follows the FDA’s Manifesto for Justice, which was launched in 2019. The FDA is calling on the government to meet four key demands:

  1. A properly resourced CPS - to protect the public with a robust and effective prosecution service.
  2. No more cuts to legal aid - to ensure that justice is available to all.
  3. Investment in digital disclosure - to maintain public confidence in justice.
  4. Competitive pay and fees - to recruit and retain lawyers for a sustainable criminal justice system.

Woodhead acknowledges the “huge demands” on public finances during the pandemic, but points out that “a functioning justice system is the bedrock of a functioning democracy.”

“Access to justice is a fundamental right and it must be protected.”

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