The justice system must work for people not profit
In May 2013 it was announced that the courts could be privatised in the most fundamental shake-up in the administration of justice for 800 years. The lord chief justice wrote to the justice secretary, warning him not to undermine judicial independence. Chris Grayling has now said that the courts will not be privatised, but that options for reform are being explored.
The government is planning to privatise the enforcement of criminal fines and fixed penalty notices. Existing public sector staff met their targets last year, but the government wants to use private bailiff companies who retrieve less than 20% of the money they are given to collect and are also unregulated. It is reported that Citizens Advice Bureaux received 25,000 complaints about them last year.
Court interpreting has already been outsourced. Capita Translation and Interpreting was given a £300 million contract by the Ministry of Justice to provide court interpreters. The company reduced pay and terms and conditions for interpreters, and is hiring people who aren’t qualified, leading to numerous problems in the courts.
Who's benefiting from privatisation?
Read about Capita - you can also vote for them in False Economy's 'fishiest outsourcing firms' competition.
What can you do?
Take action: ask your MP to stop the privatisation of justice fines. Find out more about the Justice Not For Sale campaign.