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Friday, 17 October 2014

The Greater Scandal

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester has rightly been pilloried this week for admitting that his force has been inadequate in persuing cases of abuse and rape of children by gangs, mostly composed of ethnic-minority men.

One part of his interview that has generally been ignored by the press has been his suggestion that the way the courts are managed means that it is extremely difficult to get convictions. The young people who have been victimised are unsophisticated and largely inarticulate; so defending Counsel have scant difficulty is demolishing their evidence.

But that is surely the greater offence. The adversarial court system works diirectly against the weak. The Bar - supposedly one of the greatest professions - is at its raw edge a vicious racket. Judges, almost all of whom are drawn from the ranks of Barristers, are tolerant of behaviour by their colleagues that amounts to a denial of justice to the victims of abuse.

All the great talk about the 'glory' of English [and Welsh] Justice is fundamentally false. As long as the  self-opinionated great men [and women] of the profession fail to recognise quite how disgraceful is the habitual conduct of some of their colleagues they will not earn the respect of their fellow citizens. Charles Dickens recognised the fundamental rottenness of the judical system almost two centuries ago: and nothing has improved since then.

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