The Dom Post reports:
Mr Hart wants the introduction of a US system of plea bargaining between prosecution and defence before approval by a judge. “It deals with the root problem we’ve got: there are too many cases going to trial. A lot of them could be resolved.”
I’m sure one of many defence lawyer readers will comment in more detail on this. I understand there already is some sort of informal plea bargain system? How would the proposal by Barry Hart be different? As a matter of principle I ave no problem with plea bargains that reduce court time.
He believes police should be removed from laying charges and instead a Crown prosecution agency should be appointed.
Well Crown Law get involved in the major cases. Not sure how cost effective it would be to have every potential charge referred to a Crown agency.
Both lawyers also said the district court procedure in which judges gave a “sentencing indication” for minor offences should be adopted in the High Court.
Often defendants just wanted to know what sentence they were likely to get. If that could be sorted out early on, they could accept it and plead guilty earlier, Mr Hart said.