Skip to content

Reimagining the Law 2 June 2020

1. Trial by jury?

Defendants should have an extra right- namely, to choose trial by a judge instead of a jury. I have addressed hundreds of juries and believe they usually reach a fair decision, but if prejudice is likely (e.g. by the media against defendants from a particular race or religion), or if the case is likely to be quickly dismissed, why not give defendants this option? It exists in Australia and Canada without damaging respect for trial by jury.
Geoffrey Robertson QC

Why should criminal defendants in the Crown Court not have the right to elect for judge-alone trials if they want to?
The Rt Hon Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury

2. Making SDG 16 Real

We can, today, assess our laws against the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and in particular Goal 16 - for Peace, Justice and the Rule of Law. Let's commission a report from the Bingham Centre on the extent to which SDG 16 is reflected in the everyday law-making processes of democratic states.
Jeremy Gilley

3. Prisons

Isolation has been a hardship experienced by many in recent months. Prisoners have long been suffering this as a result of confinement in cells. The time is ripe for a radical reform of our criminal justice system with resources devoted to rehabilitation in society rather than isolation from it.
Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers KG PC

The number of people in prison should be reduced to below 40,000 with fewer remands and women and no children. Sentence inflation should be reversed. Prisons should introduce the opportunity of real work for real pay and employment rights, making prisons safe and purposeful for the few who require custody.
Frances Crook OBE

Parliament should adopt a policy of reducing the prison population by 10% per annum, adapting penal policies specifically to achieve this objective. The £billions saved will be invested in criminal justice, educational, rehabilitation and drug treatment programmes. Crime will fall.
Timothy Dutton CBE QC

4. A National Legal Service!

We know the value of good medical advice, the value of preventive medicine, the waste and inequality of over-reliance on private health provision. Let's learn from this, invest in the public good of sound legal advice, and build a universal legal service to rival the NHS.
Professor Christopher McCrudden

5. Clients have a problem which needs solving - not a "matter" which needs a file opening.

We are trained on how to be fine lawyers, but not enough on how to be fine problem solvers. We need training on how to get clients to their destination, how to look at yourself through the eyes of clients- what is the difference between being a trusted adviser and subject matter expert?
Simon Davis

-
Keep In Touch