Too poor for Justice
As the government tax cuts continue to go further, there is a growing concern among the poorer in our society of the standard of life they will be able to afford as more government aid is cut.
The current system in the UK entitles everyone to free, government provided legal aid if they request it. However, with government debt rapidly growing on interest payments alone, something needs to be done to slash spending. The judicial review is pointing to the £1billion spent a year on criminal legal aid, with Grayling stating ‘you have to challenge whether taxpayers are getting appropriate value for money.” A view which many taxpayers in our society would be quick to agree with.
When the taxpayer foots the bill, often in the case of clearly guilty and publicly hated figures of terrible crimes, there is always going to be strong public opinion on these issues. The State is most definitely not considering abandoning the numbers of people who can get accept to legal help, simply the type of legal help they will be entitled to for free. The current suggestion is to replace teams and well established lawyers with recent graduates, trainees and single defence.
The amendment has already seen backlash, in complex cases were experience is necessary the government seem to be condemning the poor to a less than fair trial against a skilled prosecution case. It almost seems to be a case of the poor receiving a sentence without trial, as even the innocent will not get a truly fair trial. As if the state was truly run by black and white law, there would be no need for lawyers, but in a complex grey scale world, it seems, only the rich can afford real justice.
Although rarely considered the victims, solicitor unemployment rose by over 400% in 2009, and the future looks bleak for the already unemployed and graduates pouring out of law school every year.