Terms of Reference
While taking into account –
a) current initiatives to improve the efficiency and speed of the criminal justice system (in particular recent changes relating to the early guilty plea scheme);
b) the need for robust case management;
c) recommendations made in previous reviews of the criminal justice system, including those not implemented at the time; and
d) Government reforms to the criminal justice system;
1. Review current practice and procedures from charge to conviction or acquittal, with a particular focus on pre-trial hearings and recommend ways in which such procedures could be:
a) further reduced or streamlined;
b) improved with the use of technology both to minimise the number of such hearings or, alternatively, conducted (whether by telephone, or internet based video solutions) without requiring the attendance of advocates.
2. Review the Criminal Procedure Rules to ensure that:
a) maximum efficiency is required from every participant within the system;
b) any changes proposed are fully supported by the Rules.
3. Report to the Lord Chief Justice within 9 months. The report will be published in due course.