Gove scraps Grayling’s Criminal Courts Charge

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By Katie King on

Lord Chancellor’s move gets thumbs-up from lawyers


Lawyers across the country today breathed a united sigh of relief, as Michael Gove announced that the much-hated criminal courts charge is nearing its end.

Speculation has stirred in recent weeks about the longevity of the charge, not helped by its fiercely negative public perception and unfortunate association with the much-hated ex-Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

Just weeks after a damning report from the Justice Committee tore the charge to shreds, Gove finally bit the bullet and vowed to stamp out one of Grayling’s most hated legacies from 24 December.

The reaction from lawyers is, unsurprisingly, very positive and, interestingly, very pro-Gove:

News of the charge’s planned abolition broke on Twitter this morning following Gove’s address to the Magistrates’ Association Council — though there seems to be some confusion about who or what prompted Gove’s political U-turn.

Details are still thin on the ground, and some keen legal commentators are concerned about how the reform will actually work.

For now, at least, lawyers can take comfort that the legacies left by Grayling’s disastrous stint in power are beginning to unravel.