INDEPENDENT NEWS

Law Jobs Go – UK Ministry Slashes And Burns

Published: Wed 15 Oct 2008 02:43 PM
Law Jobs Go By The Dozen – UK Ministry Slashes And Burns
Jack Straw's Justice Ministry is slashing and burning policies and people - so to speak. Clifford Chance release litigators
LawFuel – Legal Jobs & News Online - Lawyers and British Ministry of Justice bureaucrats are stunned by news of major job losses planned for the British Ministry of Justice, which could force the closure of up to 100 courts and risk undermining the British prison system.
The Ministry of Justice alone is facing a loss of over 3000 jobs in the courts, 1300 in the Probation Service, 2700 in the Prison Service – a total slashing of employee numbers of over 3000. It is anticipated that the scale of the cutbacks will affect several crime-fighting initiatives.
The Times reports that there is a funding gap of about £1.3 billion over the next two years owing to “existing inflation and volume pressures”. The cutbacks come after disclosure of a £90 million shortfall in the courts’ budget.
Closing the gap by 2010-11, creating a contingency fund for emergencies and allowing only £150 million for a fund to cover initiatives would demand savings of £900 million in two years, according to Ministry of Justice sources.
Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, was given one of the lowest allocations in the three-year Comprehensive Spending Review last year, representing a real-term cut of 1.7 per cent.
Judges have already spoken out against government policy to move courts to a “full cost recovery” system by which they are financed solely out of fees charged to litigants. But the document indicates that far from taking such concerns on board, this programme is to be accelerated, generating £46 million.
Full story available at www.lawfuel.co.nz
ENDS

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