This short consultation invites all members of the Criminal Bar to express their views on the issues to be addressed by the Criminal Justice Reform Group (“the Group”), chaired by His Honour Geoffrey Rivlin QC, which has been established by the Bar Council to consider and report upon the current state and, most importantly, future of the Criminal Bar.

The Group’s Terms of Reference are deliberately wide:

“Having regard to the interests of justice and the current state of public finances, to consider and formulate proposals for the future of the criminal justice system and the role of barristers in that system. In particular:

(a) to consider and formulate proposals for the more efficient and effective conduct of the work of the Crown Court,

(b) to consider both the current state of, and any suggestions for change to:

(i) the arrangements for providing representation to individuals, and
(ii) the manner in which barristers provide their services, and

(c) to formulate proposals for:

(i) improving, and removing any obstacles, to the efficient and effective functioning of a system for providing representation to individuals, and
(ii) improving the manner in which barristers provide their services.”

The Group is considering the Jeffrey Review of Independent Criminal Advocacy and is also engaging with the Leveson Review of the Criminal Justice System.

The Group would be particularly grateful to receive constructive criticisms of the criminal justice system, the role of the legal profession (and in particular the Bar) within it and realistic recommendations for improvement.

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