In response to the report produced earlier today regarding sitting days on the Western Circuit, the Guardian has reported that the Ministry of Justice “denies that case backlogs are growing longer.” Kate Brunner QC, the report’s author, has said:
“The Ministry of Justice’s denial is somewhat surprising bearing in mind their own statistics. The most recent Criminal Court Statistics quarterly (available here) for June to September 2019 showed a provisional estimate of “outstanding cases increas[ing] by 3% on the previous quarter.” For March to May 2019, the MoJ statistics showed a separate 1% increase (here). I have been unable to identify how the MoJ can justify saying backlogs are reducing, when their own statistics demonstrate an increase for at least the last 6 months for which figures are available.
It is up to the Ministry of Justice to justify their policy of not ensuring that vulnerable people have access to justice in a timely fashion, but in order for there to be a proper debate, we on the Western Circuit will ensure that our assertions are backed up with facts, and expect the MOJ to do the same.”