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Committed to Savings but Committed to Justice

June 4, 2013 4:38 PM
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats
Criminal Legal Aid Proposals

Committed to Savings


Committed to Justice

The LibDem Lawyers Response

to MoJ Consultation on Criminal Legal Aid

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In This Issue
The LibDem Lawyers Respnse
The Petition
The Video
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4th June 2013
Are we about to lose some of our basic legal rights?

LDLA has responded to the MoJ Consultation paper. We have made recommendations for early savings that exceed those sought and for future efficiencies.

However, we are adamant that key elements of our judicial system should not be destroyed by:

  • Removing the client's right to choose their lawyer

LibDem Lawyers respond "we find it quite astonishing that the Government should be proposing to restrict client choice on the basis that this gives "an incentive to provide a legal aid service of a level of quality above the acceptable level specified by the LAA as firms effectively compete on quality rather than price."

  • Paying lawyers to persuade their clients to plead guilty

LibDem Lawyers respond the proposal is " clearly intended to be a deliberate financial incentive for lawyers to get their clients to plead guilty, or to shorten cases, regardless of the issues or evidence at stake. It is a conflict of interest for Government to push criminal defence services into this position, and the potential for injustice is huge

  • Replacing a lawyer's professional duty to stand-up their client with the corporate duty to shareholder profit

LDLA "question whether the public interest will be served by a system that tenders on the basis of lowest possible price but with no regard to quality or maintaining legal professional ethics fit"

At the time of writing it has over 75,000 signatures.

If a petition reaches 100,000 then the Government promises to have a debate on the issue raised by the petition. It also raises awareness of the issue

It is important that not only do you sign the petition, but you get it
noticed. Click on the following to tell your friends/colleagues:

Laugh at the Video!
VideoPicture2 Transforming Legal Aid
This video spoof has all who have seen it rolling in laughter. Click on the picture or

A Message from Graham Colley,

Chair LDLA

Jean Valjean in 'Les Miserables',
Richard Hannay in 'The 39 Steps' or
Dr Richard Kimble in 'The Fugitive'
Is their fictional nightmare of 'Justice Denied' about to enter our reality?

Dear friend / colleague,

Most of us never get involved in the criminal law.

We care little. We have been satisfied that we have, more or less, achieved the benchmark for our Society as set by Winston Churchill when, as Liberal Home Secretary, in 1910 he said :

"The mood and temper of the public regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of the civilisation of any country" (1)

But, there is a nagging fear in us all . If we were unlucky one day, we, a friend or a member of our family might be unfairly pursued, arrested and become part of the criminal process - The fears that are reflected by the authors in fiction nightmares of Valjean, Hannay or Kimble. However, we have always believed that, if that nightmare were to happen, there would be an independent lawyer to fight for us.

Until now!

The proposals to remove the right to chose a lawyer and then incentivising those lawyers to get you to plead guilty brings a 'Clockwork Orange' society run by big corporates on behalf of government that little bit closer.

LibDem Lawyers have found the required savings - and more . As lawyers, we will now defend the system of Justice, in which we are trained and for which our nation stands.

Best Wishes


Graham Colley - Chair

(1) House of Commons speech, given as Liberal Home Secretary, July 20, 1910

This email was sent to shirley.holt@eastmidslibdems.org.uk by chair@libdemlawyers.org.uk |
Liberal Democrat Lawyers Association | 27 Gun Tower Mews | Rochester | Kent | ME1 3GU | United Kingdom