09 March 2006

Britain forward not back

I was waiting for my dinner to cook yesterday and decided to have a read of the Labour manifesto, which I picked up while campaigning at the last General Election.

I found this interesting little bit on Page 48:

"Where a defendant fails to turn up for court without good cause, the presumption
should be that the trial and sentencing should go ahead anyway."

Obviously the government hasn't attempted to put this into law yet, but the civil liberties groups would probably complain when and if they did.

Obviously, the government is trying to save the money wasted on court appearances by non-appearers.

If you're summoned to court, it's your duty to appear. But should you be tried in abstentia? I'm assuming that the trial would still proceed without any defendant, but surely the defendant should be able to see the evidence against him/her. Although, if the defendant doesn't turn up, they probably don't need to see it anyway.

In my opinion, if you want to have your day in court, make sure you turn up.

I support this proposal. What do you think?

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