In 2021 the Crown Court Improvement Group (CCIG) was set up in response to the unprecedented challenges faced by the criminal justice system (CJS). Over the past year the CCIG, which is represented by all key agencies in the CJS, has worked to identify and develop initiatives that will increase the efficiency of the Crown Courts and improve access to justice.
The progress report and annexes provide an update on the work that has been done by all agencies to remove obstacles to the proper conduct of cases in the Crown Court. A revised and updated Better Case Management (BCM) Handbook is now in force. This reminds everyone of BCM principles and identifies good practice. Furthermore, I have issued listing advice to Presiding and Resident Judges which will improve the management of trials.
From Monday 16 January 2023, the Courts will expect that the principles contained in the BCM handbook will be applied by practitioners to the conduct of cases in the Crown Court. The Crown Court judiciary will be leading a new focus on effective Plea and Trial Preparation Hearings as the foundation of good case management.
I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the group and look forward to seeing progress being made across the CJS as a result of this work.
The Rt Hon. Sir Andrew Edis
Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales