Joanna Hardy-Susskind has featured in the diary column of The New Statesman in a piece entitled: “Wigs on the picket line and my fight to fix the justice system” examining the current situation in the Criminal Justice System and as a result, the action being taken by The Criminal Bar Association and Criminal Barristers. She comments:
“Complainants wait. Witnesses wait. Public safety waits. Defendants wait. Some of them will be guilty. Some will decide that waiting years on bail is altogether more comfortable than pleading guilty and going to prison now.
Some of those waiting will be innocent. Hauntingly so. And, in the words of the National Lottery, it could be you.
You might think the darkest days of a defence barrister are spent representing the personification of evil. You would be wrong.
The cases that keep me up at night are of those people hauled through this cold system who did precisely nothing wrong. They sit in court, wide-eyed, never thinking a dock was somewhere for someone like them. Until, of course, it was. It might have been the car accident, the stag do, the angry neighbour or the misunderstanding at work. But whatever it was, it blind-sided them. They arrive at court clutching their paperwork with a supportive spouse or parent. They hope to “clear all this up”.
It almost always takes years. It often takes everything they have.”
Read full piece here: [The New Statesman]