narey report and higher audience rights

narey report and higher audience rights

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  • Created on: 22-03-11 18:11
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Narey Reforms of the Crown Prosecution
Service (CPS)
Following the implementation of the Glidewell proposals, Martin
Narey's reforms were also rolled out in 1999. Every
magistrates' court became a `Narey court' with a new fast track
system of case management. Crucially the prosecutor was no
longer a trained lawyer but a lay prosecutor trained to review
files and present straightforward guilty pleas. This freed CPS
lawyers to deal with more complex cases (especially in the wake
of Access to Justice Act 1999).
The "fast-track" system broke new ground, the prosecutor was
no longer necessarily a lawyer ­ "caseworkers" were trained to
review files and present `straightforward guilty pleas', which
were listed exclusively for Early First Hearings (EFHs). This
freed CPS lawyers to deal with more complex cases, which
would go to Early Administrative Hearings (EAHs).
However, despite the clear advantages, the idea of lay
presenters has been controversial with the CPS Inspectorate
commenting that they were not "tough enough with the police
over the quality of files prepared".
Nevertheless Ernst and Young (consultants) have found that the
Narey Reforms have resulted in an increase in the number of
guilty pleas from 30% to 53%. The main reason cited here is
the fact that greater emphasis is now given to discounts on early
guilty pleas. However one of the key guarantees of the Human
Rights Act 1998 is the right to a fair trial, which includes
adequate time to prepare cases. These rights may be
threatened by the way the Narey reforms have been
implemented. Many lawyers also believe that the lay presenters'
training "cannot equate with a lawyer's experience".

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Higher Audience Rights
The Access to Justice Act 1999 (Sections 36 and 37) garnered
higher audience rights to all trained advocates. For the CPS this
means that instead of briefing barristers at the Bar (at a cost of
£95 million P/A) it can now train its own barristers to conduct trials
in higher courts. This means greater continuity and consistency.…read more

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