"After decades of cuts to legal aid eligibility and pay, this announcement is somewhat startling, and it is not clear where any actual additional funding – if any – will come from. Criminal defence practitioners will react with some caution."
Writing in The Times, partner Martin Rackstraw discusses the recently announced £25 million 'boost' to the legal aid system.
As part of this, the Government intends to ensure that defendants who are found not guilty in criminal cases do not have to pay the costs of their defence. However, the proposed changes are equally liable to result in more under-paid work for criminal defence lawyers.
"The current system, under which innocent defendants can be left substantially out of pocket is undoubtedly unjust. But if the government’s solution does not involve fresh funding it will simply mean more under-remunerated work for defence lawyers, who are already near breaking point."
The full article is available to read online, and is featured in this week's The Times The Brief newsletter.
Martin is a partner in the fraud and criminal litigation team. He has been defending in serious and high profile cases for well over 20 years. Martin represents individuals facing serious allegations, particularly homicide, sexual allegations and drug matters