Crime & Justice

Supreme Court Reform

In the wake of our August paper, Reforming the Supreme Court, Policy Exchange’s Judicial Power Project is pleased to publish a new symposium on Supreme Court reform, in which distinguished legal commentators engage with the question of how and by whom appellate authority should be exercised.

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Online Harms Bill reflects Policy Exchange proposals

A new Online Harms Bill, unveiled this week, includes measures that will force social media companies to delete harmful content or face fines of up to 10 per cent of their turnover and adopt a new code of conduct to protect children on the internet. The legislation builds on recommendations made in Policy Exchange’s 2017 report, The New Netwar, which called for ministers to “put in place a system of financial penalties, administered by the independent regulator, to force company compliance” and urged the adoption of a “more stringent codes of conduct”.

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Daylight Robbery

Research by Policy Exchange finds that fraud and error during the COVID-19 crisis will cost the UK Government in the region of £4.6 billion. The lower bound for the cost of fraud in this crisis is £1.3 billion and the upper bound is £7.9 billion, in light of total projected expenditure of £154.3 billion by the Government (excluding additional expenditure announced in the 8th July 2020 Economic Update). The true value may be closer to the upper bound, due to the higher than usual levels of fraud that normally accompany disaster management.

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Exiting Lockdown

The UK Government should extend its Five Pillar Testing Strategy to a Six Pillar Testing and Tracing Strategy by introducing digital contact tracing as a Sixth Pillar. A Testing and Tracing Strategy should bring together expertise from the Department of Health, NHSX, NHS Digital, Police, Military and the Intelligence Agencies, to create a new independent national 24/7 Testing and Tracing Command Centre.

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Policing a pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic represents the biggest challenge to UK police since the Second World War, according to Richard Walton, Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange and former Head of Counter-Terrorism Command at the Metropolitan Police. The paper – Policing a pandemic, part of a new series from Policy Exchange examining the policy impact of the coronavirus pandemic – recognises that, in the words of the Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty, the response of the British public to disasters and emergencies tends to be “extraordinary outbreaks of altruism”. It also notes that some aspects of criminal behaviour are very likely to decrease during periods of social distancing, for example alcohol-related disorderly behaviour, including violence that can occur in and around bars, pubs, nightclubs and restaurants, reducing police demand for emergency response calls. But the paper warns of a minority who will exploit the pandemic for criminal purposes and sets out new challenges that are likely to be faced by the police.

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The Law of the Constitution before the Court

The Supreme Court’s prorogation judgment, Miller/Cherry, was contrary to the settled law of the constitution. This paper, which complements and completes an earlier critique, refutes attempts to deny the judgment’s revolutionary character, attempts that cannot be squared with key facts about prorogation in the run-up to the Bill of Rights 1689, with Erskine May’s Law and Practice of Parliamentary, and with the primary 20th century textbook on the law of the constitution. The paper details the factual misjudgements and injustices at the heart of the Supreme Court’s judgment, and confirms the wisdom of the law of non-justiciability that the judgment casts aside.

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Latest Crime & Justice Publications

Less Crime, Lower Costs

Less Crime, Lower Costs

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This report identifies examples of ten programmes that are proven to have significant impact on future offending as well as being cost-effective. But knowing what works is only the first step; these programmes have to be put into practice properly in order to have the desired effect and the report’s authors also show how to implement and fund these programmes which would cut crime and its associated costs.

Latest Crime & Justice Blogs

Re-booting public trust in the police

Re-booting public trust in the police

Ruth Davis, Crime & Justice Research Fellow at Policy Exchange, highlights the new and innovative ways in which police forces are using technology to tackle crime and engage with the public. Ruth argues that such technologies will help the police bridge the distance that has built between them and the public, as well as increasing police accountability.

Paving the way towards broadcasting in courts

Paving the way towards broadcasting in courts

Following the broadcast of ‘The Murder Trial’ on Channel 4, Policy Exchange Crime & Justice Research Fellow Charlotte McLeod makes the case for televising court cases. Charlotte highlights the inconsistency of allowing social media into courtrooms, but not TV broadcast, and argues that with stringent safeguards in place broadcasting court proceedings offers an important opportunity to engage the public in understanding how our judicial system works.

Reforming reform with payment by results

Reforming reform with payment by results

Max Chambers, Head of Crime and Justice at Policy Exchange, argues that the UK’s penal system is in danger of failing the hardest-to-help. Payment-by-results, he argues, will provide a potentially revolutionary powerful commercial incentive for providers to innovate and effect some badly needed cultural changes within the probation system.

Latest Crime & Justice News

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