Headlines: September 16th, 1999

Lord Irvine, the Lord Chancellor, has unveiled plans to speed up criminal
justice and transform the Crown Courts. The plans set out the most radical
changes for 30 years. The aim is to cut delays and cancellations, improve
performance and deliver new levels of service to the people who use the
Crown Courts, especially victims of crime, witnesses and jurors. Judges
will play a key role in the proposals. They will chair the 42 regional
Strategy Committees that are proposed and they will also be responsible for
day to day management of the courts.

Strategy Committees will be attended by chief officers of all the criminal
justice agencies. The committees will monitor the performance of the courts
and set and manage performance standards for the agencies involved with the
courts. At local level, Resident Judges and Case Management Officers, will
monitor the performance of local agencies in the court centre. Successful
implementation of the plans would bring the performance of all courts up to
what the best have achieved already and they would introduce modern ways of
working and modern technology.

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