Letter: Court chaos

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The administrative problems of the criminal justice system are much more significant than the odd case in which a defence lawyer arrives late ("Judges to penalise slapdash lawyers", 8 September).

Defence solicitors are at the mercy of the courts' often chaotic timetables. The listing procedure is organised currently for the convenience of the courts and, to a lesser extent, the Crown Prosecution Service.

Defence solicitors have to juggle their own commitments to fit in with this system. The frequent delays and last minute changes of timetable to court hearings add to the misery. This is particularly hard on clients and witnesses.

If the Government is serious in its intention of making the criminal courts more efficient, it should work with the Law Society and defence solicitors to find a system that works for everyone involved.

ROBERT SAYER

Law Society President

London WC2

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