Queen’s Speech 2008: Justice

The Queen announced government for a more responsive justice system for victims, witnesses, and the wider public today.

Attention was alsop paid to measures providing improved support for bereaved families of victims.

It is expected the bill will also address the problem of witness protection, particularly intimidated witnesses of gang violence. It will work to immediately provide the best possible protection for such persons.

Likely provisions could include changes and extensions to pre-exiting special measures, such as the use of a screen around witness boxes and live video links. This aspect of the legislation is considered particularly controversial, because of concerns about how fair a trail is when the defendant doesn’t know who is speaking against him.

The bill also promises to strengthen data protection laws in order to increase the public confidence in criminal law and the fairness of the justice system as a whole.