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to think none of you are taking this seriously enough

(384 Posts)
babybarrister 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


Merle Wed 22-May-13 07:35:36

Busstop actually it does surprise me, because the Conservatives used to be the party of Law and Order. This lot actually don't give a damn.

Unrelated but it is a scandal the way that the police are under-charging crime, in order to make it look as if it has fallen, when in fact they are giving repeat shoplifters fixed penalty notices, which is then not officially 'crime'.

I tell you, we are being ruled by maniacs.

OnwardBound Wed 22-May-13 07:42:41


kungfupannda Wed 22-May-13 07:46:03

Actually, that was snarky.

I'm perfectly well aware that the vast majority of non-lawyers believe that legal aid lawyers have some vast hourly rate and are milking the public purse for all it's worth.

One example:

If a defendant elects Crown Court trial - as has always been their right for the majority of offences - when the magistrates' court was willing to deal with it, and subsequently decides to plead guilty for whatever reason, the barrister's fee is £200.

That £200 may well cover two, possibly even three appearances at the Crown Court, even in a straightforward case, a conference with the client, written advice and fairly extensive prep time.

The solicitors will get around £350 for the same case. That will cover their first appearance, possibly two, at the magistrates' court, the preparation of their brief to Counsel, meeting the client to take instructions, attending the conference with Counsel, taking instructions from any defence witnesses, obtaining any necessary experts' reports, liaising with court/client/cps etc.

Two professionals, putting in many hours of work each, across several weeks, or even months, for a combined total of £560ish between them.

A lawyer in private practice can charge up to £200 per hour. Legal aid lawyers can therefore get paid less than 3 hours of private practice work for two of them prepping a case for trial in the Crown Court.

Still think it's ridiculous?

ElleMcFearsome Wed 22-May-13 07:51:38

Signed. Thanks for the awareness raising.

ParsleyTheLioness Wed 22-May-13 07:57:04

Justice should be available to all. Not just those who can afford it.
Signed and Tweeted.

Headinbook Wed 22-May-13 07:58:37

Signed. Shared it a few days ago but will do it again. Thanks for pushing this. These changes are terrifying, and the spin re fat cat lawyers is distracting attention from what they mean for justice.

beeny Wed 22-May-13 07:59:31


justpaddling Wed 22-May-13 08:03:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IsThatTrue Wed 22-May-13 08:06:07

Signed and bump

Lovecat Wed 22-May-13 08:07:31

signed and bump

Riddo Wed 22-May-13 08:11:58


EduCated Wed 22-May-13 08:12:33

Signed. This is one of those times where I feel so utterly useless but just don't know what to do!

MsIngaFewmarbles Wed 22-May-13 08:12:41

Signed and shared

LineRunner Wed 22-May-13 08:21:21

Yes I have just signed this. Thanks.

greengoose Wed 22-May-13 08:27:52

Signed, but feel very powerless to actually change anything. There isn't enough public feeling to effect change.
I have gone from protest to signing petitions just to feel I have done something. What I know is it will do nothing except salve my soul slightly. Why is this government allowed to stand? Real people are really suffering. I am not proud of me or of us as a nation for allowing yet another form of predudice in action to take root.

CharlieUniformNovemberTango Wed 22-May-13 08:31:42

Signed and shared.

I'm frightened for the victims of domestic abuse. This will allow abusers to carry on their intimidation won't it. I know that abuse victims will still be able to apply for it but you need proof apparently. The very nature of some abuse means it will never have been disclosed over the years.

Just another way to keep the poor in their place.

People won't be able to fight wrongful disability claims etc at a time when ATOS are proven to be utterly useless.

To not even have the safety net of legal advice in a difficult time? Very scary.

BakingWithToddler Wed 22-May-13 08:51:09

Signed and shared. Words fail me regarding my fears about what the tories are doing to every aspect of our society in the guise of necessary cuts.

Ilikethebreeze Wed 22-May-13 08:55:57

I tried to read a thread on MN about 2 weeks ago about this.
I think, to the average man in the street, that a.they think it will never affect them and b.the whole thing is too complicated to understand. So I would say, try and keep the whole thing as simple as possible to understand.
Is there a large difference in abilities in solicitors, or whatever they are called?

AllThatGlistens Wed 22-May-13 08:56:48

Signed and shared.

MonstrousPippin Wed 22-May-13 08:59:43

Signed and shared too.

BumpingFuglies Wed 22-May-13 08:59:50

Signed and shared

Ilikethebreeze Wed 22-May-13 09:03:29

What is chamber, what is counsel, who is Grayling, what is lapso. Talk of pay rates.
Also the subject heading is not indicative of what you are trying to say.

Posters on MN would care, and act I think, if this thread was written in much more laymans terms.

Not meaning to critizise at all.
Just pointing out that the average man in the street runs away from law related issues, as in the same way as say Maths at school.

babybarrister Wed 22-May-13 09:07:13

Thanks to those who are not lawyers and are doing something - the rest of you on MN numbering in the 100s of thousands should be ashamed of yourselves and don't come complaining on the legal threads when it all goes horribly wrong for you or your loved ones .

Remember, sometimes innocent people get wrongly charged .....

Rooble Wed 22-May-13 09:09:13

Signed and shared. Feeling increasingly depressed and increasingly powerless to do anything about our deteriorating sense of Society. I feel as though everything's crumbling around our ears.

ItsallisnowaFeegle Wed 22-May-13 09:11:30

I just feel extremely angry and frustrated about this and I agree it seems like a done deal.

This country is rapidly losing the Great in Great Britain. sad It's a capitalists playground.


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