privatisation of courts or – what’s the price of democracy?

After privatization of prisons which started in early 1990s (currently 15% of prisoners stay in private prisons) and which has been followed by very contradictory reports and analysis regarding effectiveness, absolute and relative costs as well as success in achieving fundamental objectives of the prison system as such, now British government is considering privatization of courts! As a part of Tories’ austerity measures and plan to reduce public deficit further, ideas start floating around that courts system is very expensive and involvement of private sector in running courts may help to improve the services and cost-effectiveness.

Court system is one of the core pillars of functioning society and one of its major characteristics is or should be – independence. By delegating even just some of the functions to private sector it is a threat to the very basic fundamentals of modern democracy.

Can democracy ever be too expensive?