I am deeply concerned that there has been a dramatic fall in the number of cases taken to employment tribunals.
This news broke following a review by the Government into its own policy to introduce £1,200 fees for people wanting to bring forward their cases. The Government’s own report detailed how employment tribunal cases slumped by 78% in the first year of fees – mainly affecting low-paid women.
The review said the total number of employment tribunal claims fell from 195,570 the year before fees to 43,951 the year after. The number of claims rose again to 74,979 the year after, but that still represented a 62% drop on the year before fees were introduced. Read more “Employment Tribunal Cases”
Yesterday’s announcement by the Secretary of State for Justice, Liz Truss MP, into the reform of our prison system is too little too late. Reform has been needed for years, but this Government and the previous Coalition Government dodged the much needed reforms. Instead of choosing the right path of reform they decided to revert to type and cut prison officer numbers and investment into the prison estate.
Since the Tories have been in power they have presided over a cut of 7,000 prison officers. When Labour left office we had 49,230 prison officers maintaining safety in prisons and ensuring that it produced an environment where rehabilitation could progress. As of March 2016 there are only 43,540 prison officers. The Tory cuts have undermined prison safety and seen attacks on prison officer’s increase by 41%. Delve deeper into those figures and you will see a 31% increase in serious assaults on officers. That isn’t even over 5 years, that is just within one single year; a shocking figure. Read more “My Response to the Prison Reform Announcement made by the Justice Secretary”
Yesterday, I called for immediate reform of the Magistrates court system. This follows the House of Commons Justice Select Committee, which I am a member of, report into the role of the Magistracy and its workings.
Established over 650 years ago, the magistracy is recognised as an integral part of the judiciary of England and Wales. There are just over 17,000 magistrates, all of whom are unpaid volunteers. They deal with over 90% of criminal cases and a substantial proportion of non-criminal work including family law cases. Traditionally, the linked principles of ‘local justice’ and ‘justice by one’s peers’ have underpinned the role of the magistracy, and for many magistrates these principles remain important today. Read more “Calling for reform of the magistrates court”