Way back in 1986 the Adam Smith Institute called for the reform and liberalisation of the archaic drinking and licensing laws of England and Wales. This study by the ASI compared the difference between Scotland and England and Wales after the laws had been changed North of the border. It found that even though alcohol was more readily available there, there was a reduction in the negative aspects of drink such as disorderly behaviour and health. Fifteen years on a government have finally seen sense and decided to relax the laws that govern drinking. The evidence of the past points towards a much safer and healthier environment.
Britain's prison system is in a state of crisis. Violent incidents, industrial disruption and rooftop sieges are common reminders that radical reform of the system is urgently required. Antiquated Victorian prisons often house three prisoners in cells designed for one. The overcrowding and poor conditions inevitably lead to resentment and tensions which break out in violence.
Professor Logan outlines the moral case for privatising prisons.
At the centre of the problem for the Police Service is the fact that while the crime rate appears to rise inexorably, local authorities and central government have to operate within an economic framework of financial restraint. Resource allocation to the police therefore not only implies difficult decisions, but is further complicated because the business of evaluating the success of the police is an imprecise and highly subjective matter.
The Police Service with its monopolistic, un–competitive structure, operates all too easily in an environment where there is little or no yardstick for comparison against alternatives. This report looks at the different ways that crime is combatted. It also argues that a return to local policing is the way forward to fight the rising levels of crime with the major restructuring of the police serivce giving rise to greater service evaluation, improved efficiency and a more flexible response to the increasing market demand for choice.
Our courts our slow, outdated, and costly. Adam Thierer shows how people in the US have abandoned them for private arbitration: and how the state and federal courts have had to accommodate this change. A model for modernising the court service in the United Kingdom and elsewhere?
Peter Reeve, himself an experienced lawyer, says that the whole process for selecting and appointing the UK's top barristers -- Queen's Counsel -- is both antiquated and against the public interest. The legal profession is one of the country's poshest but most effective trade unions, and its top echelons have proved skilled and successful at protecting their restrictive practices through the assaults of various governments. But their monopoly restricts the numbers of those with access to this spurious qualification, and in effect sets up a pricing ring that raises the costs of the court system and prices many people out of access to justice.
This paper examines the Labour government's record on individual freedom in their first 500 days in office.
The police might think it important to arrest those who use force to defend their property, or to enforce motoring laws such as speed limits, or to offer counselling to crime victims, but these are rated the least important priorities by the general public, according to the Adam Smith Institute's MORI poll, published as The Wrong Package.
All over the world, public court systems are under pressure. This can mean lengthy delays for litigants, which increases the worry, frustration, and cost for both sides in a dispute.
State-run prisons suffer from the familiar problems of other public-sector institutions that face no competition: inadequate supply, poor quality and high cost. All too often, prisons are schools for crime. Many of them suffer from serious problems associated with over-crowding, poor sanitation, violence, drugs and sexual assault. Prison warders have become a powerful vested interest, exerting undue influence over prison policy.