Joined: 16 Nov 2006
|Posted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:44 am Post subject: Howard League E-Bulletin Dec 15
|Criminal Courts Charge: scrapped in time for Christmas!
We have secured another major campaign victory after the Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove, announced that the criminal courts charge is to be abolished on Christmas Eve.
The charge was introduced in April, and we have led the opposition to it ever since, highlighting dozens of cases from across England and Wales that illustrate why the policy is unfair, unrealistic and unjust.
Cases that the Howard League brought to national attention include a woman “who had not eaten in days” but was ordered to pay more than £300 for stealing a 75p pack of Mars bars and a frustrated judge who was told he had no choice but to impose a £900 charge on a homeless shoplifter.
Our Chief Executive, Frances Crook, gave oral evidence to the House of Commons Justice Committee and we briefed Peers ahead of a debate in the House of Lords. We also submitted written evidence to the Justice Committee, which subsequently called for the charge to be abolished.
Frances Crook said:
“We welcome this decision and applaud the Secretary of State for acting quickly to get rid of a charge that was simply unfair. This is a victory for justice. It augurs well for changes being made to the courts and penal systems, which both need radical reform.”