Saturday 24 October 2020

Justice system ‘gridlocked’: public prosecution office

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Cutbacks to the justice system and more complex cases have caused a pile up of at least 22,700 criminal cases, the Telegraaf reports.

Some 2,200 of the cases put on hold because no judges have been available involve violence or drugs offences and carry penalties of a year or more in prison, an internal analysis by the public prosecution office has revealed. Delays can run up to 14 months, the paper said.

Public prosecutor chief Gerrit van der Burg told the paper the gridlocked system is ‘worrying’.

‘This is very bad. We can’t expect victims and suspects to understand the delay and it is not a good signal to give off to society.’ Van der Burg said the problem affects the whole ‘justice chain’ and is not the responsibility of the courts alone.

The problems have multiplied because of cutbacks within the justice system and more complex criminal cases taking up more time. An increasing number of cases involve mentally disturbed people which is putting the system under pressure as well, the Telegraaf said.

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