Charities claim expanding use of video links risks miscarriages of justice
(Posted on 13/01/22)Share:
UK plans to increase the use of video links in criminal justice proceedings risks discriminating against disabled defendants leaving them open to serious miscarriages of justice, according to disability and criminal justice charities.
Video and audio link hearings were widely used during the Covid-19 pandemic leaving vulnerable suspects accused of the most serious crimes without face-to-face legal advice when interviewed in the police station.
As reported in The Justice Gap Kamran Mallick, Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK said: "This provision discriminates against disabled defendants and could lead to serious miscarriages of justice. Trials should be shaped around the needs of defendants, to ensure that processes are fair and barriers are removed. Expert screening of the needs of defendants is absolutely vital."
These concerns have been shared as part of a coalition of charities as the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Bill was debated in the House of Lords this week.