A succession of leaders have failed to address its problems.
The UK's family court system is at breaking point.
HM Prison Bedford, which was the scene of recent violent disturbances.
Joe Giddens PA Wire/PA Images
Problems in the UK prison system go back decades, if not centuries.
Tributes left to Elizabeth Edwards and her daughter Katie, murdered in April 2016.
Chris Radburn/PA Wire
Two teenagers have been sentenced to life for a double murder. But their crime is extremely rare.
Ched Evans (centre) after he was acquitted of raping a teenager in a retrial.
Ben Birchall PA Wire
Responses to rape have improved, and they must continue to do so.
A surge in violence led to six homicides in prison in 2015-16.
Anthony Devlin / PA Wire
One solution: free those remaining people imprisoned for their own protection.
Going to court? Who’s your true friend?
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Legal aid cuts have made people going to court turn for help elsewhere.
Relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq protest outside Sir John Chilcot’s press conference.
Compared with other attempts to mend deep wounds after wars and conflicts, the Chilcot Report falls depressingly short.
The Birmingham Six, from left, top; Patrick Hill, Hugh Callaghan and John Walker. Bottom; Richard McIlkenny, Gerard Hunter and William Power.
PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images
The Birmingham Six were released after spending 17 years in prison for crimes they did not commit – there's still work to do to stop it happening again.
There could be a number of appeals by prisoners after a Supreme Court ruling on joint enterprise.
Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Prosecutors will no longer be able to fall back on racist stereotypes of gang violence.
The scales of justice have been rebalanced.
Law lords ruled that a controversial law which has led to hundreds of murder convictions has been misconstrued.
Nathan Matthews and Shauna Hoare.
It's important to look beyond the same old gender sterotypes.
What are the arguments for and against the death penalty and do they stand up to examination?
Lady Justice, meet your new Lord Chancellor.
Gove wants to shake things up but seems to appreciate that lawyers are at the end of their tether.
A fight on his hands.
The Tories have had the Human Rights Act in their sights for some time – but now they've got a chance to do take it out, they could end up living a nightmare.
Plaid want police to acknowledge the needs of victims - but how?
According to our expert, Plaid Cyrmu's crime manifesto is window dressing with uncosted goods.
The coalition got off to a rocky start on crime with the 2011 riots.
The government faced civil unrest almost as soon as it came to office. Then it decided to cause some disruption of its own.
Turning the other cheek: Stephen Gough.
David Cheskin/PA Archive
Stephen Gough – widely known as the Naked Rambler – has lost his case at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which disagreed that his repeated convictions and jail terms violated his rights…
I’m right here with you, buddy.
The legal concept of joint enterprise caused outrage in South Africa in 2012, when 270 miners were charged with the murder of 34 colleagues in a police shooting at Marikana. Their crime? Being in the crowd…
There is no arguing against the fact that the trial of Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and others has been a disaster for British journalism, and has catastrophically worsened its reputation. But there remains…