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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Swift and sure justice


'Swift and Sure Justice: the Government’s Plans for Reform of the Criminal Justice System'.


The White Paper sets out the Government’s programme of reforms to the criminal justice system in England and Wales. It forms part of the Government’s much wider programme of reform across crime and justice.


The reforms in this White Paper focus on the points where work passes between criminal justice agencies and are designed to enable them to work together more efficiently and effectively to deliver services which are:

  • swift: so that the low level, straightforward and uncontested cases are dealt with promptly and efficiently; and
  • sure: so that the system can be relied upon to deliver punishment and redress fairly and in accordance with the law and public expectation.



Your feedback welcome

This White Paper sets out the recent progress that has been made by policy makers and practitioners in reforming the criminal justice system and plans for the next twelve months. Some aspects of the reform programme are at an early stage of development, including our proposals to:

  • empower a lay magistrate to deal with certain uncontested, low-level cases on his or her own;
  • introduce a monetary threshold for the either way offences of theft and handling stolen goods below which magistrates would not have the power to commit the case for trial at the Crown Court, but the defendant’s right to elect for trial by jury would remain unchanged; and
  • consider reform of the legislation relating to the use of video links in criminal proceedings.

MoJ will continue to develop these plans and will announce any proposals for reform in due course. In the meantime, they would welcome views or suggestions on the reform programme generally, and on these three specific proposals, which can be sent to:


Criminal Justice Reform
Post Point 8.02, 
Ministry of Justice, 

Ministry of Justice logo

Date Published: 




Ministry of Justice