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Monday, 24 June 2019 09:11

Bail reform fails

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A change in the bail regime to prevent suspects being left indefinitely under suspicion seems to have backfired (as was widely predicted by defence lawyers). 

Since April 2017, police forces have faced a 28-day maximum on bail which can only be extended in exceptional circumstances. Anyone the police intends to investigate beyond this period can be released, without conditions, in line with a new ‘under investigation’ status. The Justice Gap covered a study by the London Criminal Court Solicitors’ Association which found that more than half of defence lawyers had cases that already lasted between 18 months and two years. The longest case has been under investigation for four years – in other words, predating the new regime. ‘Most clients find it difficult to move on with their lives,’ commented Rumit Shah, of law firm Galbraith Branley in London. ‘Some are left in limbo for such a long time that it has an impact on their mental wellbeing and affects the loved ones around them.’ According to Shah, the new approach failed victims and witnesses as well. ‘They want to forget about it. If after some time charges are proceeded they have to relive the whole thing again.’

For full article https://crimeline.co.uk/crimeline-news/

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