So Jack Straw is in the firing line for this one:
Hundreds of criminals, including those accused of sexual offences, have avoided prosecution after a "cover-up" in magistrates\’ courts, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, is to admit that over a period of "many years" hundreds of cases never came to court because warrants were not issued for the arrests of defendants when they failed to show up at court.
It means that the offenders got away with their crimes. Mr Straw has known about the cases, which initially involved Leeds magistrates\’ court but are suspected could go much wider, for some weeks.
He has ordered an urgent inquiry because he is unsure whether the failures have been caused by gross incompetence, negligence or foul play.
Now, I wonder which of those it could be? And, of course, is it only Leeds? Incompetence, negligence, or foul play? We do have a clue though:
The problems stem from when the Magistrates\’ Courts Committee that oversaw those courts was scrapped in 2005. The new body, HM Courts Service, was set up and reported directly to the Home Office, and now the Ministry of Justice.
New officials at the HMCS carried out a "review of processes" and found that over a period of years there had been prolonged failure in issuing arrest warrants.
Looks like plain old governmental failure to me, bureaucratic incompetence. Obviously, I can\’t be certain, but that the problem is traced back to when the system was reorganised certainly points to the thought that it\’s the reorganisation of the system that\’s caused the problem, doesn\’t it?
Now of course, providing a sensible criminal justice system is one of the very top priorities of the State, up there along with defence. They are the essential part of any argument in favour of the existence of said State in the first place, in the right of it being able to tax us to provide those goods which can really only be provided both collectively and compulsorarily.
And if the State cannot provide those two, then what is the point of having it at all? Perhaps that will be too extreme for some: but if they cannot provide those two reasonably, then why on earth does anyone think it can make us all healthy, wealthy and wise?