Friday, 4 February 2011


The closure of Chepstow County and Magistrates Court (not to mention Abertillery Magistrates Court) in April and Pontypool County Court (in July) may not seem to have much impact on the surface, but these cuts make a complete mockery of the whole notion of local justice. This has nothing to do with making the delivery of justice more efficient, the Ministry of Justice's real motivation has always been to cut costs, make no bones about it this cost cutting agenda is being driven by the Con Dem Government in Westminster.

This is merely it part of the price that we are all paying (and are going to carry on paying) for the bailing out the banks. I have no doubt that there are real opportunities to cut costs, save money and make the system more efficient, but these closures will only make it more difficult for people to access justice. The UK Government should have (but did not) reconsider its decision, because the majority of the proposed closures in Wales will have a significant impact, not just on jobs and services but on the efficient functioning of the criminal justice system.

The closures will have a knock on effect as there will be increase in travelling expenses and also higher costs will be incurred by delays in hearing cases. Cut price justice indeed - one more sound argument in support the need
to devolve control of Criminal Justice to Wales.

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