Announcement of extra money for justice system not enough to repair damage, says Bar Council

updated on 06 September 2019

The government has announced a 5% budget increase for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and an extra £80 million for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), but lawyers see the increases as nowhere near sufficient to deal with problems in the justice system.

Chancellor Sajid Javid announced the measures in the government’s spending review on Wednesday, but as the Law Gazette reports, the Bar Council has described the budget increases as “drops in the ocean”.

Much of the funding increases across the criminal justice system are earmarked to pay for 20,000 additional police officers and improve security in prisons. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is to receive £5.5 million in 2020-21, up from £4.4 million, and Companies House is receiving a boost to its anti-fraud and combatting money laundering activities.

Malcolm Cree CBE, chief executive of the Bar Council, commented: “The budget boost for the MoJ and CPS is necessary and overdue. But, although welcome, they are drops in the ocean in budgetary terms and will only go so far in restoring a justice system which is falling apart at the seams. We need a longer term vision of how public confidence in tackling crime can be restored.”

Javid’s spending review announcements are widely seen as election giveaways as Boris Johnson’s minority government gears up to go to the polls.