Treatment Of, and Outcomes For, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Individuals in the Criminal Justice System Independent Review

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 24th June 2019.

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Photo of Yasmin Qureshi Yasmin Qureshi Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department has taken to implement recommendation 11 of the Lammy Review; and what information his Department holds on (a) racial and (b) gender breakdowns of (i) plea and (ii) remand decisions in magistrates' courts in the last 12 months.

Photo of Yasmin Qureshi Yasmin Qureshi Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent steps have been taken to implement recommendation 12 of the Lammy Review on the Open Justice initiative.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Recommendation 12 of the Lammy Review has been implemented. MoJ now publishes both sentencing and offence tools which break data down by demographic characteristics, whilst preserving the privacy of individuals where sample groups are small. This was first implemented in May 2018's Criminal Justice Statistics publication and will be updated annually. Latest versions of these data can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-justice-system-statistics-quarterly-december-2018

In relation to the implementation of recommendation 11 of the Lammy Review, research into current processes does not reveal evidence to indicate plea and remand decision data gaps. HMCTS standard operating processes, supported by IT case management systems applying data integrity and validation checks, satisfy the court’s duty under Part 5 of the Criminal Procedure Rules to make records. However, it is true that plea data is not available for a considerable volume of summary only non-imprisonable cases. Unfortunately, this results from a defendant failing to engage with the court process (as opposed to HMCTS failing to record the plea).

One of the ways HMCTS is making it easier for defendants to engage with the court process is for defendants to respond online via the make a plea service. Furthermore, while most defendants arrive in the magistrates’ court on bail or in custody, remand decision data is not available for those cases arriving at court (first hearing) by way of postal requisition, summons or single justice procedure notice because, as a matter of law, these defendants are not on remand.

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