The Criminal Justice Bill 2002 contains wide-ranging and significant proposals to reform the criminal justice system. Those proposals cover evidence, procedure and sentencing. The London Criminal Courts Solicitors? Association (?the Association?) sets out in this response its views on the individual proposals contained in the Bill but holds the view that their combined overall effect, should they become law, would be to produce a hybrid, more inquisitorial system, working within the adversarial system upon which criminal justice is currently based. The important and finely-tuned balance in that system, to ensure that the guilty are convicted but that the innocent suspect is protected, would be damaged and, possibly, lost.

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