A report by the Council of Europe on justice efficiency, published last week, listed figures for the total public budget allocated to legal aid in 47 countries. It showed that most states in Europe increased their budget between 2010 and 2012, while the UK cut funding significantly. Predictably, the bulk of news outlets highlighted the fact that we spend more than most countries on legal aid in per capita terms, although Norway has now overtaken us. However, few journalists and even fewer members of the public are aware that the inquisitorial system used in Europe means that the cost of investigations falls more on judges’ budgets than lawyers’ and so countries’ systems cannot be compared like for like.
via Legal aid cost myths | Opinion | Law Society Gazette.