The Liberal Democrats want to halve the time from offence to sentencing for all criminals, as part of justice plans set out in the party manifesto today.

The plan, launched today by leader Sir Ed Davey, said one of the party’s priorities is to tackle the backlog in the criminal courts and reduce the number of people in prison on remand.

The party said it would implement a new data strategy across the criminal justice system to ensure that capacity meets demand. There would also be a workforce strategy to ensure there are enough criminal barristers, judges and court staff.

In a move towards greater transparency, the party would enable all victims of crime to request a transcript of court proceedings free of charge.

The party pledges to develop and implement a comprehensive race equality strategy to address what it calls ‘deep inequalities’ in areas including criminal justice.

There is also a commitment to ensuring justice for victims of scandals and to prevent future scandals. The Lib Dems say they will provide ‘full and fair compensation’ to all victims of the Horizon Post Office scandal and the infected blood scandal as quickly as possible.

The party would introduce the Hillsborough Law: a statutory duty of candour on police officers and all public officials, including during all forms of public inquiry and criminal investigation.

On housing, the manifesto pledges to immediately ban no-fault evictions, making three-year tenancies the default, and create a national register of licensed landlords.

There is also a promise to establish a new right to affordable, reasonable legal assistance, and to make the legal aid system ‘simpler, fairer and more generous’.

This extra investment is intended to expand access to immigration legal advice and to tackle the backlogs in the family courts that leave some children and families waiting nearly a year for cases to be resolved.

The other parties will release their manifestos for the 4 July general election later this week.


This article is now closed for comment.