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Criminal Justice and Courts Bill 2013-14
The Bill was introduced to Parliament by the Justice Secretary on 5 February 2014. It will apply to England and Wales, with further provisions in the Bill covering all of the United Kingdom.
It aims to make provision about how offenders are dealt with before and after conviction.
The Bill aims to:
- Reform sentencing and criminal laws to punish serious and repeat offenders, whilst providing better protection to victims and the public.
- Modernise legislation to tackle the influence of the internet on trials by jury.
- Reduce the financial burden of court proceedings by ensuring that criminals pay towards their court cases.
- Educate those in youth custody and to give offenders the tools to turn away from crime.
The Bill is expected to gain Royal Assent by the end of 2014.
Labour have criticised the Bill for doing "nothing to punish and reform criminals or improve the confidence of victims and witnesses that justice will be served."
Similarly, Shelter have also expressed their concerns at the Bill's measures to limit judicial reviews. Chief executive, Campbell Robb, stated that "judicial review is vital for charities like Shelter in making sure that local authorities meet their legal duty to give homeless families a place to stay for the night."
The House of Commons second reading for the Bill took place on 24 February 2014. After a short debate, the Bill was read for the second time and passed to a Public Bill Committee.