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to think none of you are taking this seriously enough

(384 Posts)
babybarrister Colombia Tue 21-May-13 23:01:46

Legal Aid is about to be decimated for criminal hearings - the reality is that anyone who can buy a better service certainly will do and the poor will get left with being represented by very low quality advocates

is this really the sign of a civilised society?

is this really what people want? a series of awful miscarriages of justice which will only be uncovered in 15 years time?

what happens if it is your relative who gets wrongly arrested and charged and then represented by someone incompetent and then imprisoned?

please have a read about the issue and consider contributing to the consultation before we all sleep walk into a police state - there is a demonstration tomorrow outside Parliament and the consultation shuts on 4th June

FWIW I am NOT a criminal barrister and have ABSOLUTELY NO FINANCIAL INTEREST IN THE ISSUE!

DreamingOfTheMaldives Tue 11-Jun-13 07:58:09

Tuesday Bump

Spero Mon 10-Jun-13 12:00:39

Indeed. I am struggling to think what is the POINT of a government, if all we are going to end up with is being customers of various private organisations who are run for profit. How on earth can provision of medical and legal services be run for 'profit'???

I am all for efficiency and not wasting money but making profit the goal is just senseless for these kinds of activities.

ParsingFancy Mon 10-Jun-13 11:53:41

I saw the previous thread, also by babybarrister I think.

But I was too busy fighting the bill to privatise the NHS (passed last year) and having ATOS declare their "medical assessment" of me not fit for purpose.

I have to pinch myself to remember this is a coalition government. Dude, where's my country?

Spero Mon 10-Jun-13 11:13:34
Spero Mon 10-Jun-13 11:12:44

It is very heartening that people on this thread are taking it seriously NOW but before babybarrister started this thread someone else had a go and I think it got a paltry number of responses before dribbling to a halt... so the original premise of this thread was fair enough.

I am very pleased however to see loads of stuff now in the papers and even satirical comment on the Now Show!

Also Harry Mount tried some nonsense article in the Spectator saying what a great idea the reforms were and he seems to have been very satisfactorily slapped down.

Somethingyesterday Mon 10-Jun-13 10:29:31

We are taking it seriously.

Monday bump

BanishedToPadua Sun 09-Jun-13 14:05:06

Well, this is unexpected! It's a scathing criticism of proposed legal aid reforms in the Mail on Sunday. Here is the link (Mail):

New Face of British Justice Eddie Stobard

If the Mail has turned, Grayling can have very few allies left.

rooiewooie Fri 07-Jun-13 21:45:46
ParsingFancy Thu 06-Jun-13 19:14:47

Signed after other thread - marking my place to catch up with this one later.

enw Thu 06-Jun-13 13:58:56

Please sign the petition. The Government proposes to push this all through without any parliamentary debate, despite 1000s of strong, well reasoned responses from many areas of the justice system. The petition needs to reach 100,000 before it is considered so PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE.

e petition Save UK Justice

DreamingOfTheMaldives Thu 06-Jun-13 08:37:44

Thursday morning bump

beeny Wed 05-Jun-13 22:34:30

bump

danceponydance Wed 05-Jun-13 15:40:37

I've had a response to my email from one of the Justic Select Committee members, I suspect it's a standard response but despite this it is quite long and detailed. Also had a shorter response from my own MP saying he's waiting to see the official response to the consultation.

CelticPromise Wed 05-Jun-13 14:52:02

Good point higgle.

higgle Wed 05-Jun-13 13:50:23

CelticPromise - yes, there is always that element about. I think things must have got a lot worse over the 10 years I have been away from the profession. I'm coming back to the thread to say that it is a fallacy that the more wealthy who can instruct lawyers privately will always be OK - they won't because the present bunch of senior barristers, good solicitors and QCs all got their experience doing legal aid work and it is the constant practice of law - which is as much about intuition and emotional intelligence as academia - which builds a good defence lawyer.

Signed petition and shared on fb

CelticPromise Wed 05-Jun-13 13:21:51

higgle there certainly is an unscrupulous element, now they loiter at court trying to pick up other people's duty cases. Unfortunately it's the solicitors doinga decent job who get screwed over by the cuts- I imagine the usual suspects will do rather well out of encouraging early guilty pleas, sending the office junior to the police station etc.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Wed 05-Jun-13 13:01:28

Here is a link to a Young Legal Aid Lawyers website which has a template for anyone who wants to write to their MP regarding the proposed Legal Aid Cuts.

Please write to your MP, if only using this template, and please sign the petition SaveUKJustice

CelticPromise Wed 05-Jun-13 12:07:47

Bumping. I've responded to the consultation, signed the petitions and written to my MP, so I'm back to nag the rest of you!

higgle Wed 05-Jun-13 11:34:38

I was a criminal defence solicitor for nearly 25 years. I have mixed feelings about the cuts. On the one hand there are certainly going to be injustices. It is not just the big cases where people's lives are affected when things go wrong. I can think of numerous cases my colleagues and I dealt with where careful preparation, putting a bit of extra time and effort in clearly revealed that life changing allegations of theft and assault were simply not made out - sometimes we were able to get compensation but usually it was about safeguarding someone's livelihood and family.

The present levels of remuneration for criminal defence work are very low, I have worked off that I now earn more working in the care sector than I would if I had carried on in my old career ( and that is saying something!)

On the other hand I have also seen solicitors play the system for financial reward, letting cases run to get them into the next pay bracket, hanging about when waiting was paid and farming their police station work out to clerks who might have been qualified but were not much good. As with every profession there is the unscrupulous element.

Solicitors have ben fighting legal aid cuts for many years now - I remember going to a protest meeting in 1990 about it! Strangely although they are, on the whole, excellent at getting results for their clients I cannot recall a single concession on the funding issue ever having been made. Everyone supports nurses and hospitals against the cuts, no one loves a lawyer even though the consequence of a miscarriage of justice can have devastating effects.

Sorry posted to soon

Yes that is what it means and more.
The lawyer you get allocated will be from a bulk provider chosen by the Government based on price. They will be paid a fixed fee whether the case settles early through a guilty plea or goes to full trial so they have an economic interest in seeing the case settled quickly, this may lead to pressure on vulnerable people to plead guilty.

It means that you will not be able to select the solicitor that is an expert in your particular offence. Additionally, as has been pointed out by senior people in the profession, if you have a specific disability that might be relevant to the offence you will not be able to select a lawyer with specialist knowledge of that disability.

It bothers me that the State will prosecute you and under the new proposal will also allocate you a defence lawyer.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Wed 05-Jun-13 10:30:34

Can I ask in simple terms because I am not up on this at all.
Basically if I was arrested and could not afford a solicitor instead of being able to go to any that offered legal aid you will have to go to certain government approved ones?

Is that what it means?

rooiewooie Wed 05-Jun-13 10:01:28

Bump

With a reminder not to take at first glance the figures printed in Daily Fail today, as if anyone would...

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