The Criminal Justice Reform Bill: A transformative reform

A statue of Justice holding the scales outside the old Supreme Court building. The writer says that giving a fair hearing to accused persons benefits the public, as it increases confidence that the courts are convicting the guilty and acquitting the
A statue of Justice holding the scales outside the old Supreme Court building. The writer says that giving a fair hearing to accused persons benefits the public, as it increases confidence that the courts are convicting the guilty and acquitting the innocent.ST FILE PHOTO

The criminal justice system has come a long way, since I joined the Criminal Bar close to 20 years ago.

There is no doubt that the system has constantly evolved to stay relevant to society's changing demands. For a long time, the prosecution and defence did not exchange information about their cases before trial in a formal and structured manner. An accused person might therefore find out the details of the case against him only at trial.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2018, with the headline 'The Criminal Justice Reform Bill: A transformative reform'. Subscribe