Justice from Afar: Barriers to English Criminal Process During Covid-19
The lifeblood of the criminal process in the UK is jury trial. Yet Covid-19 has ground these to a shuddering halt and threatened their future arrangement. A diverse panel of speakers will focus , interactively, upon the impact of this critical development, alongside other systemic ‘symptoms’ of the crisis. Minimal access to accused, even where freedom is in issue has proved an insurmountable hurdle. The courts have struggled to resolve inordinate periods of detention, with custody time limits relegated to provisions in name only. In light of this, we will discuss worsening prison conditions and a case backlog made interminable by the pandemic. We further consider digital hearings and the extent to which ‘closed’ justice has undermined the integrity of the process. The impact upon legal education will also be examined.