National Report: England and Wales

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter describes the participatory rights of a defendant in domestic criminal proceedings in England and Wales in both the pre-trial and trial period. The chapter also considers the law in England and Wales relating to trials in absentia, before considering participatory rights at a transnational level. As I outline in this chapter, there is much to criticise in recent policy developments in England and Wales where a number of recent "efficiency" initiatives theoretically designed to expedite decision making have resulted in the undermining of participatory rights for a defendant. In addition, recent changes to legal aid have made it increasingly difficult for individuals to access legal representation at different stages of the criminal process. Finally, and most significantly, the United Kingdom remains in a transitional period post "Brexit" referendum in terms of its criminal justice arrangements. The Conservative government made the repealing of the Human Rights Act one of their election policies and our current Prime Minister has publicly declared her desire for the United Kingdom to withdraw from the ECHR altogether. Whilst debates over how and why this may take place continue, many questions of participatory rights, particularly those linked to the future of the Human Rights Act, therefore remain unresolved and a source of considerable concern.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPersonal participation in criminal proceedings A comparative study of participatory safeguards and in absentia trials in Europe
EditorsStefano Ruggeri, Serena Quattrocolo
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Criminal justice
  • Human rights
  • Access to Justice
  • Trials in Absentia

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