21 February 2009

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Just heard an interview with a couple of the actors (including Freema and Ben Daniels) on the forthcoming Law & Order UK on the Jonathan Ross Saturday morning show. I was thinking I might give this one a go until Freema said that the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) lawyers in the programme are going to go out and about interviewing witnesses. Because that's what they do in the US version.


*headdesks again. Violently*

It's a completely fucking separate legal system, where we do things oh so differently. To try and mirror it on the US series means that it will be about as accurate as Dick van Dyke's 'Cockney' accent in Mary Poppins.

And what makes it worse is that the head of the CPS seems to have had a brain fart as he suggested that this would be okay 'because in 5 years time CPS lawyers will interview witnesses'. No they fucking won't! Because that would mean that the CPS would have to recruit an enormous amount of extra lawyers (there's not enough time for the existing lawyers to do their job as it, without them having to go out to see witnesses all round the country) and there's no way that the CPS will get the extra budget in the largest economic downturn since WW2! I mean, as it is there was a time recently when the CPS (in London) literally ran out of paper because they'd run out of money to buy more. If they can't afford paper, they're not going to be able to afford to practically double in size.

Oh, and let's not even get into why it's so important for CPS lawyers to maintain a sense of detachment that the officers in the case - who see the victims and interview the witnesses - may lack. Prosecutor's code, anyone?

And then there's the health and safety implications. Police officers are taught self-defence and how to handle themselves in violent situations. Lawyers are not. Which means that half the time the CPS lawyer would have to take police officers along with them. What a waste of resources!

Yes, I suppose it's possible that there are at present high-level discussions going on at present between the CPS and Ministry of Justice about changing the way that the CPS works. But, the problem with the extra budget necessary to recruit more lawyers isn't going to go away any time soon.

Bugger! I had hopes that this would a good, watchable drama, as well, as it has a lot of actors I like.



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