Judgement Day

Our courts our slow, outdated, and costly.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?

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A Country at Ease with Itself

It is customary for those in public life who set out their ideas to sensationalize their work with overblown claims about its urgency. Thus we are usually told that "Britain stands at the crossroads," and that critical choices have to be made which will determine the entire future of the nation. Such claims serve to underline the dire warnings of the writer, to alarm people that we face some sort of "crisis," and to suggest that only prompt action based on those selfsame insights can avert the impending catastrophe. I make no such claims. Britain stands at no crossroads except in the trivial sense that every present is a crossroads where the past meets the future. I do not believe that this nation is in crisis or that only the immediate adoption of urgent remedies can save it. On the contrary, I believe that Britain is well on course, and is in the process of making a seamless transition from the policies which succeeded in the 180s to those which will succeed in the 1990s.

Thus my purpose is not an attempt to sound the alert to some impending emergency, however much interest such drama would add to my words. It is rather to show how the principles which enabled us to solve many of the problems of the last decade can develop the policies we need to tackle the different priorities which the current decade presents.

 

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An Arresting Idea

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 service giving rise to greater service evaluation, improved efficiency and a more flexible response to the increasing market demand for choice.

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Why Not Work

"To offer people the chance to work and contribute their bit to the community must be better than trapping them in a depressing state of enforced idleness that leaves them less and less able to get back to work." So wrote Ralph Howell in 1991. Following on from Why Unemployment, he argues for radical changes to the welfare system so people can get back to work.

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Does socialism mean never having to say you're sorry?

In this essay, Professor Kenneth Minogue puts in context the claim that events in Eastern Europe leave the genuine blueprint of socialism quite untorn. He argues that it represents just one more example of a familiar human frailty, the sad but common unwillingness of human beings to give up their most cherished beliefs and prejudices.  

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