As you are so moved to sign a petition, perhaps you could explain the intricacies of this change to Legal Aid, as there is no information within the petition to explain any of it. No need to hijack the thread, you could start a new one, I'd be very interested.
bbc can describe it much better than I can :) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21991945
the basic upshot of which is that there will be a lot of people now uneligible for legal aid, which in turn basically has a knock on effect that big businesses etc will be able to get away with a lot more as people will not be able to afford proper legal council. I personally know a few people who have used legal aid before, and under the new rules would basically be shafted and would have lost their jobs and houses without any comeback (both won for unfair dissmissal against their employers, bearing in mind they were earning next to nothing anyways) so for them it was the difference beteween being on the streets and not.
So whilst on the surface some of the proposals may seem fair to some extent, it's the whole knock on effect that it may have is more worrying, and again, the big point being that cuts are comnig out of the section of society that need it most, not the the other way round.
Hmmmm, I think you might have chosen the wrong aspect of the legal system, the Tribunal, to highlight for keeping Legal Aid. As I understand the principles and practice of the Tribunal system, it has run on the specific fundamental of not needing a solicitor/barrister. Indeed i have assisted friends and family with tribunals against represented and unrepresented opposition and never found the tribunals to be other than welcoming and helpful.
There are also many clients taken on within the 'No win, no fee' scheme, so the withdrawal of Legal Aid does not leave people without any prospect of legal representation. Well anyone with a case worth pursuing any way.
A case I can give about waste is my own divorce many years ago. I paid my own solicitor and later represented myself and the cost was less than £100. My ex-wife managed to run up a contribution cost to Legal Aid of almost £1000, more than 10 times the amount. Because she was legally aided she went running off to a solicitor about anything and everything and then changed her mind over and over again. A complete waste of money and Court time.
I am sure that there are some genuine concerns about changes to Legal Aid. But I rather suspect that the main impetus for any resistance to change is from the legal profession worrying about their income stream for exotic cars, houses and holidays.
The link cheeseboy put up in fact relates to cuts now in force, rather than the proposals to which I was referring. You refer to divorce. One of the changes that has come into force is that people can only get legal aid if there is an allegation of domestic violence. This acts as an incentive for false allegations of domestic violence. In turn, that will damage the credibility of those who make genuine allegations. The government also increased the fee payable for a divorce application. The effect? Record applications in the days prior to the increased fee coming into force!
Cheeseboy's example of employment law I don't think is right as AFAIK there is no legal aid for this.
This is the consultation to which I was referring:
Here are a few takes of it in the media:
http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/04/how-ministry-justices-proposal-tendering-criminal-legal-aid-misconceived-and-illib (I've just found this one with a quick google and it makes the point I was making earlier)
This consultation has been brought forward from the autumn and has given a mere 8 weeks to respond. It is a sham because the government already has a timetable for implementation of the proposals. There are a few reasonable points in there. The headline negative is Price Competitive Tendering. Amusingly, in a gallows humour kind of way, an MoJ impact assessment warns of the risk of firms competing on quality rather than price, fearing that representation may end up above acceptable!
There will be a maximum nationwide number of solicitors of 400. At least 75% of criminal solicitors will therefore be out of business. That will include most high street solicitors. This will be especially devastating in smaller communities. In reality, contracts will be serviced (either this time or in three years time) by the likes of tesco, g4s and serco.
As for financial self interest, there are a very small number of people who do very well out of legal aid. The rest have relatively modest earnings. Out of interest, when you put legal aid lawyers in the context of GPs, MPs and civil servants, how much do you think is a reasonable take home pay?
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When i was getting divorced i was being charged £100 a letter by the sounds of it to make up for the relativley 'pittance' the practice got from legal-aid casses.
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As I said Ben, I have no doubt that there are genuine reasons for people to criticise government actions. There always are and there always will be, in whatever field in which they are involved and especially when reforming. Unfortunately when the pendulum of reform swings, it invariably swings too far, so I hope that if problems arise they are minimised asap.
I am sure you and others will realise the point I was making to or about 'cheeseboy'. He clearly doesn't understand, to the level I would require to understand before I would sign a petition, and I wonder how many other signators are the same.
If there is going to be anything like the carnage to numbers of Legal Aid and other lawyers, then I think that supports my 'financial self interest' hypothesis rather well. Don't you?
I have no wish to get into any argument with you about this subject, we clearly come from opposite ends and no amount of conversation/argument would ever have us settle anywhere. As to the worth of Legal Aid lawyers. Almost every single lawyer I have come across [and that is a lot] was not worth 10% of their fees, legal aid or otherwise.
As to GPs, MPs and civil servants. GPs were almost certainly worth their money before the last government gave them the unbelieveable contracts that they did. MPs, I wouldn't give tuppence for the vast majority, but if you paid them less, how much more of a shambles would Parliament and Government be? Civil servants, I know less about, but I would wager that the vast majority of them wouldn't last 5 minutes in the private work-place and then they get platinum plated pensions. You couldn't make it up.
I hope I haven't come over as too combative. That isn't my intention because I find your views on many things to be palatable. We would never agree, I suspect, on the need for Legal Aid reform.
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Ditch the silly and often stupid European Laws.... get this rat on a plane and get shot of him.... he's a bad un'.... simple.
We already have a decent Law system. (flawed at times mind)
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I agree - our ridiculously non existant immigration rules are coming home to roost on an almost weekly basis with shed loads of people who shouldn't be here and don't have the best interests of the country at heart.
Not a right wing rant - just wouldn't happen in any other country. We need to manage the people who want to come here and get the best from them, doesn't seem there's a week goes by without a trio of terrorists being caught, found guilty and then jailed here for many years - we let them in, they plot to kill us, we catch them and then pay a fortune to have them in prison here for years!!
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It seems to me that one of the biggest threats with regard to immigration is the Borders Agency. They have proved over and over again of being incapable of using the existing laws to get rid of people or to have any idea where vast numbers are. An 'enemy within' if ever there was one.
Not so. According to a lady I know which now works in a managerial role in Immigration/Borders Agency after many years on the front line, the situation is getting increasingly worse for them. The hurdles that are laid in front of them together with numerous ways immigrants can now get around what used to be possible regarding extradition often makes situations unsolvable from their point of view (the law!). Needless to say, Theresa May is not one of her (and apparently many of her collegues) favorite.
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The Borders Agency, proclaiming that it's not their fault. Now there's a novelty.
Since loopholes are a favourite of Politicians is there anything to stop us deporting Qatada to a friendly neutral country outside of Europe who could ship him off to Jordan as soon as the plane lands in their territory? I'm sure the British taxpayers wouldn't mind paying any associated costs... Not sure if this has been tried or not?
I keep seeing stories of legitimate, hard working immigrants being shipped "home" (due to technicalities) where they will be likely to face harsh treatment yet the Human Rights courts don't seem to care, only for those high profile EDITEDs who we really do want out.
I'd also like the Home Secretary to focus on some matters she CAN deal with, such as why is this guy living in a better house than 90% of the population can afford at our expense? If you make life hard for these guys rather than handing them everything on a silver platter maybe we wouldn't have so many like him* wanting to reside here.
*as in hate-preaching lunatics, not immigrants in general.
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