Thursday, March 03, 2016

Legal aid: the case for the defence

The tabloid outcry at the news that Becky Watts' killers received over £400,000 in legal aid will no doubt be vociferous, but credit to the spokeswoman for the Law Society, quoted in the BBC's report, for coolly underlining the vital significance that access to legal aid has in perpetuating a just and democratic society: "The purpose of the criminal court system is to ensure justice for all by convicting the guilty and protecting the innocent. Criminal legal aid is critical for ensuring that anyone accused of wrongdoing has a fair trial. Of those who plead not guilty in the crown court, well over half are acquitted, which is why people accused of wrongdoing must be given access to good quality legal help, whatever their means." Not that this argument is likely to wash with the likes of the Daily Mail in this instance, of course.

No comments: