ter than 90% conviction rate and 85% negotiated pleas, it would appear that the English judicial system delivers justice at an acceptably speedy rate and therefore has fewer number of detainees on remand awaiting trial for an inordinate number of years. However, the judicial process still takes considerable time and questions arising over the denial of the right to trial within a reasonable time remain relevant. Strong criticisms on how the British government handles terrorism-related cases have been expressed in more recent times. For instance, in 2004, the British House of Lords took exception to the way the government took inordinately long periods of time to deal with terrorism cases2.
According to data released by the Ministry of Justice, there has been a general decline in the rate of convictions over the past decade. This is deducible from figure1, which is a graphical representation of the conviction rate in England and Wales for the decade between 2002 and 2012.
Figure 1 demonstrates that convictions were low in 2002 but dramatically increased to peak in 2004. Nonetheless, from 2004 to 2012 the convictions continued to decrease with a slight increase between 2008 and 2009 during the global financial crisis, but nevertheless continued on a downward trajectory thereafter, reaching the bottom at roughly 1.2 million convictions in 2012.
Based on the figures delineated in Table 1, it appears that there was a statistically significant decline in the number of persons coming into contact with the judicial system for the years 2011 and 2012. These figures include prosecuted cases and control for cases that were settled out-of-court. For 2011, 2.03 persons came into contact with the judicial system which is 8.4% higher than the numbers for the year 2012. These statistics were drawn-off the 13 % fall in out of court settlements from 444,441 persons to 386, 95756, as well as the 7.1 % downfall from 1,583,373 to 1,471, 304 in the defendants proceeding to court