Delay in the Administration of Criminal Justice

Commonwealth Developments and Experience

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The Consequences of Delay

Elucidating the effects which delay has on the criminal justice system is not as enlightening an exercise as it should be. There is an assumption that delay is an unmitigated evil that must be eliminated, but far too little effort has been devoted to actually documenting delay's consequences. It is assumed, for example, that unnecessary delays cause undue suffering to those detained in custody pending trial and that pressures to dispose of cases quickly result in procedural corners being cut.


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