A joint trial of five defendants accused of serious fraud offences has today been stayed due to the recent cuts to legal aid. The trial, R v Crawley and others, codenamed Operation Cotton, has previously been adjourned on several occasions due to the defendants being unable to find any barristers to represent them.
Due to the seriousness and complexity of this case, it is classified as a Very High Cost Case, more commonly referred to as a VHCC. In this particular case the volume of papers amounts to some 46,030 pages. There are in addition 194 excel spreadsheets with a combined total of 864,200 lines of entry and the Case Summary covers 55 pages alone. Continue reading
It would seem one motive for the Government’s desire to make cuts to legal aid would appear to be the fact that they think they can get away with it without losing many votes; other than a minority of lawyers, nobody else seems to really know about the cuts let alone realise how they may be affected. Continue reading
Since the last post on this subject there has been a number of interesting developments regarding the proposed changes to criminal legal aid.
First, the e-petition reached over 100,000 signatures. This was an amazing achievement which meant the threshold for sparking a parliamentary debate was passed. This was the initial view, however, subsequent events may have dampened this achievement somewhat.
The proposals to criminal legal aid and the opposition to them aroused interest from the Justice committee; the Justice Committee was appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, Continue reading
Background to Judicial Review
For the benefit of the lay reader it may be best to give a brief outline of areas surrounding judicial review before diving straight into the matter itself.
In The U.K. we have a tripartite system. The Executive, made up of the government; the Legislature, made up of Parliament and the Judiciary, made up of the courts. Parliament is the supreme law making body and any Act of Parliament can override any other body. It is the role of the Judiciary to enforce the law and in doing so it often has to interpret it. A vast amount of law however, has not been made through an Act of Parliament. It comes from common law, i.e. case law that has Continue reading