In his recent report, The Review of Efficiency in Criminal Proceedings, Sir Brian Leveson wholly endorsed the principles behind Transforming Summary Justice (TSJ), describing them as the ‘essential building blocks for a simple summary process’. It was therefore both surprising and disappointing that you referred to it as having ‘overtones of vigilante law’ (see ‘Mind the Gap’, 18 May, p17).
The idea of swifter justice with fewer hearings and more effective trials, which TSJ aims to support, is no bad thing – the benefits apply across criminal justice, most notably for victims and witnesses. This approach does not omit any formalities, as your article states, and reflects the recent change to legislation so that we now provide the defence disclosure at an earlier stage as well as initial details of the case, either before or at the first hearing.
And for the avoidance of doubt, your readers may wish to note TSJ is a multi-agency initiative which has, from the outset, involved input from the defence community and the strong support of the judiciary.
Jim Brisbane , chief operating officer, Crown Prosecution Service, London SE1