Legal Aid

The so-called way forward is a slap in the face to criminal defence lawyers

PUBLISHED November 29, 2006

The consultation on the future of Legal Aid provoked a record number of responses (over 2,300).   For the outcome to be no more than a tinkering with the timetable is bitterly disappointing.

Greg Powell, President of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association, commented: -

"The LSC say they have listened and adjusted the timing of Legal Aid reform. It's like driving a car towards a cliff edge and on being told that disaster is imminent, deciding to  change gear and then accelerate (towards price competitive tendering).  They do not appreciate the risk to which they are putting the whole Legal Aid system.
The idea  that the LSC/DCA  will improve "efficiency" in the whole  Criminal Justice System, is laughable.  They  simply do not have the micro  control of Court List Officers, police officers or CPS charging lawyers who will go on as slowly  and  ineptly as now.
The LSC claim they pay different amounts for the same work to different suppliers. There is no research to prove this claim .Paying the same amount  for different work  (fixed prices)  is hardly fairer to the tax payer or supplier".