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Title: Efficient, effective and fair? Disqualifying drivers in their absence at London traffic courts
Authors: Corbett, CL
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Lawtext Publishing
Citation: Contemporary Issues in Law, 2012, Special Issue: Criminal Justice, 11 (4), pp. 249 - 276 (28)
Abstract: As part of a series of London-wide measures designed to streamline end-to-end system efficiency in the criminal justice process, a substantial re-organisation of the traffic court system has taken place alongside a London-wide approach for the prosecution of drivers at risk of disqualification from driving through the accumulation of penalty points. The main aims of the revisions are to reduce costs through raising efficiency and to increase outcome effectiveness. This paper explores one of the key outcomes which is to bring swifter and more certain justice to drivers eligible for disqualification who would prefer to evade or delay the imposition of this court sanction. Comparison is made of the profiles of a sample of London drivers who failed to appear and were disqualified in their absence with one that complied with the justice process. In particular, the implications of the findings are considered in the context of a key British police objective ‘to deny criminals use of the road’, and of the current narrative of the cost savings needed across the criminal justice system. Whether a widespread application of the practice to sentence and disqualify in absence is efficient and effective is central to the discussion, as is the procedural fairness of this application of the law.
Description: Permission to redistribute granted by the publisher.
ISSN: 1357-0374
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