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    For anyone who hasn't seen this, it is an excellent post by a practicing barrister on the new reforms going to be introduced by the Government.

    Who stills wants to practice crime!? I would love to hear from you.

    http://barrister999.wordpress.com/20...some-thoughts/
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    (Original post by Luckypupil)
    For anyone who hasn't seen this, it is an excellent post by a practicing barrister on the new reforms going to be introduced by the Government.

    Who stills wants to practice crime!? I would love to hear from you.

    http://barrister999.wordpress.com/20...some-thoughts/
    I don't think what is said is right as proposed but I think the big government contractors will point out that this won't work.

    The individual contracts are going to be too small to attract the big boys. A contract is going to be 1/20th of all the criminal work in the West Midlands and 1/4 of all the criminal work in North Yorkshire. Each bidder can only have one contract in each area. The only way that a big player can function is to take on a large geographical reach. They can't expand the workload within an area except by increasing the amount of crime!

    The major problem for any operation is what footprint do they need in an area. Police station reps can operate from home as can court advocates. Back office functions can be dealt with remotely. However, the vast majority of criminal lawyers would not be willing to see clients at home. North Yorkshire is a huge area. How to do interview clients from Skipton to Whitby without having office space?

    The way this is proposed, I think it is going to be difficult for the contract winners to parcel out clients amongst themselves to create local monopolies and avoid having to have a presence everywhere. It looks as though a Wolverhampton firm can't take all Wolverhampton cases and a Coventry firm, all Coventry cases.

    It make be that the contracts will turn into licences to print money as happened with the translation contract. I am now wondering about the assignability/change of control of these contracts. If these contracts are assignable, it is likely that consolidation will occur by the acquisition of other contract holders or the purchase of their criminal law operations. How do I get more than 5% of the West Midlands work? Well, I buy someone else with 5% of the work and then I have 10%.

    It isn't clear what is to happen with out of area remands and trials. Neither the Prison Service nor HMCTS adheres to CJS boundaries which basicly reflect Police/CPS/Magistrates Court boundaries.

    The bar is being "protected" in all of this but only in the way that pheasants are protected. Any provider is going to try and take its routine advocacy in house because it is bound to have sufficient volume in its local Crown Courts to keep specialist advocates fully engaged. Providers are going to buy a barrister or two.

    They will only be able to have an open tender once. Next time, the only people interested will be the existing providers and those providers will have to take on the staff. It will be like the railways. There may be a different provider but it is the same people driving the trains.

    Indeed the biggest risk to bidders seems to me to be TUPE. If I win a contract, do I have to take on or pay the redundancy cost for every employed legal aid criminal lawyer and his secretary in the CJS area whose firm didn't win a contract?
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    I still want to work in crime!
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    IMHO, this is bad short-sighted "square peg in round hold" governance. You are trying to impose a model that theoretically works in assembly line "widget driven" markets. The concepts of justice, fairness and accessibility do not fit neatly or otherwise in such a framework... And I strongly suggest that this will cause more burden on an already beleaguered system... Granted adjustments need to be made, but "to throw the baby out with the bathwater" is not a viable solution...
    My rant filled, cliche ridden soliloquy, has now ended....
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    (Original post by Schrodinger'sCat)
    I still want to work in crime!
    Before you apply you are neither a successful criminal barrister, nor an unsuccessful product of the unfortunate circumstances facing the junior criminal bar... "schrodinger's law student!"
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    Sorry people very important information for anyone with an interest in law.


    If you’re interested in the Criminal law and practice…give yourself and your client a fighting chance….


    If you can guarantee you'll never be arrested for anything, then this won't interest you.


    The Ministry of Justice is attempting to curtail client choice. This will inevitably have an impact on all members of society, innocent or not, professional or trainee.....


    Join the Save UK Justice Campaign. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS......Hopefully you'll never need to exercise them, but protect them nevertheless.


    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/48628


    Please get as many people as possible to take notice.


    It is by no means a foregone conclusion. Both the Bar and Solicitors are uniting to challenge this. The next generation can participate.


    I met the Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling only by chance two days ago. It appeared he wanted the profession to give him a better idea!!!

    He has tried to split the professions on this and so demonstrates a considerable lack of understanding. Both professions are interdependent and the current trends of solidarity is unsurprising.
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    (Original post by Muz1230)
    Sorry people very important information for anyone with an interest in law.


    If you’re interested in the Criminal law and practice…give yourself and your client a fighting chance….


    If you can guarantee you'll never be arrested for anything, then this won't interest you.


    The Ministry of Justice is attempting to curtail client choice. This will inevitably have an impact on all members of society, innocent or not, professional or trainee.....


    Join the Save UK Justice Campaign. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS......Hopefully you'll never need to exercise them, but protect them nevertheless.


    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/48628


    Please get as many people as possible to take notice.


    It is by no means a foregone conclusion. Both the Bar and Solicitors are uniting to challenge this. The next generation can participate.


    I met the Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling only by chance two days ago. It appeared he wanted the profession to give him a better idea!!!

    He has tried to split the professions on this and so demonstrates a considerable lack of understanding. Both professions are interdependent and the current trends of solidarity is unsurprising.
    I always despair of these "stick it to the man" protests. Grayling needs to shave millions off the criminal legal aid budget. He has come up with this nonsense to do it. Tell me how does your petition give him an alternative way of achieving what he needs to achieve? The plain fact as is that our method of delivering legal aid costs far more than virtually anyone else's. If it doesn't achieve what he needs to achieve he is going to ignore it. And please don't say the government should spend less on overseas aid/Trident/small wars/social security. Politics is the art of the possible. Grayling has a budget and he has to bring his department in within that budget.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I always despair of these "stick it to the man" protests. Grayling needs to shave millions off the criminal legal aid budget. He has come up with this nonsense to do it. Tell me how does your petition give him an alternative way of achieving what he needs to achieve? The plain fact as is that our method of delivering legal aid costs far more than virtually anyone else's. If it doesn't achieve what he needs to achieve he is going to ignore it. And please don't say the government should spend less on overseas aid/Trident/small wars/social security. Politics is the art of the possible. Grayling has a budget and he has to bring his department in within that budget.
    There have been various attempts of reducing the cost of the justice system. I don't think any have actually worked... instead we usually end up spending more money on it.

    The chairman of the CBA has some interesting views on the matter:

    http://criminalbarassociation.wordpr...r-association/
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    (Original post by InnerTemple)

    The chairman of the CBA has some interesting views on the matter:
    Interesting but the extent to which they are self-serving and oblivious to the real funding problems are not apparent.

    "protect the rights of this country’s citizens from having a corner stone of its democracy stolen from it."


    The basic fact is that the process is too expensive for those who are not publicly funded. We have to reduce the cost of the process to bring it within the means of the public to pay.

    "Delays caused by a system of disclosure that is now broken almost beyond repair."

    A wholly unnecessary system of disclosure that over the last 30 years has become a vast money making racket. Let us look at a golden age of the 1950s both in the mags and assizes/sessions. The police interviewed witnesses. Such of those witness statements as the police considered relevant went to either the prosecuting officer or an in-house or privately engaged prosecuting solicitor.

    At a summary trial, the police called oral evidence from such witnesses as the prosecuting officer/solicitor wished. He would examine in chief from the police witness statement. The defence x-examined. The defence called oral evidence such witnesses as the defence wished. The prosecution x-examined.

    For an indictable offence, at the committal proceedings the force solicitor would call oral evidence from the prosecution witnesses. He would examine in chief based on the police witness statements. The defence could but generally did not x-examine. The evidence would be taken down in depositions and a copy of the depositions supplied to the defence. The defence could but generally did not call evidence. At the trial, prosecuting counsel would examine in chief based on the depositions. Defence counsel would x-examine based on the same depositions. The defence would call such witnesses as the defence chose. The prosecution would x-examine. Occasionally the defence would catch the prosecution out by advancing an unanticipated case. The prosecution might be allowed 24 hours to investigate.

    That was a swift and essentially fair process. It started to go wrong when it somehow became the function of the prosecution to lay the whole police investigation before the defence. The whole exercise became a paperchase about what happened out of court. To some extent this was caused by the defence wanting to have ammunition to discredit the verbal confessions which became a staple of the investigation of serious crime in the 60s and 70s. That problem largely went away with tape recording of interviews.

    "one lawyer would be tasked with understanding the non disclosed material"


    No lawyer needs to understand the undisclosed material. It isn't evidence.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I always despair of these "stick it to the man" protests. Grayling needs to shave millions off the criminal legal aid budget. He has come up with this nonsense to do it. Tell me how does your petition give him an alternative way of achieving what he needs to achieve? The plain fact as is that our method of delivering legal aid costs far more than virtually anyone else's. If it doesn't achieve what he needs to achieve he is going to ignore it. And please don't say the government should spend less on overseas aid/Trident/small wars/social security. Politics is the art of the possible. Grayling has a budget and he has to bring his department in within that budget.
    In the same vein of thought, how does your debate on TSR solve the coming cuts to the criminal legal field
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    (Original post by woody-wood)
    In the same vein of thought, how does your debate on TSR solve the coming cuts to the criminal legal field
    No debate on a forum of itself solves anything.

    Although there may be some efficiency gains (which is the Holy Grail of all governments seeking to cut expenditure) they will be modest and difficult to achieve because the courtroom experience is in the control of the judiciary whose primary aim is not to control public expenditure. Lawyers spend far more time and effort and deploy personnel of far more seniority producing bundles of documents that almost any other type of organisation primarily to avoid criticism by the judiciary of the quality of what is produced. Social security and immigration tribunals who rely on civil service produced bundles, let alone the medical profession in the NHS, have to put with far lower standards than would probably attract a costs disallowance in a civil or criminal court.

    The key to cutting expenditure is simple in theory but involves a piece of self-denial on the part of all official parties involved in the process-reduce what you require fee rendering lawyers to do.

    In the 1960s and 1970s efficiency was about conducting time and motion studies; finding out what processes actually involved. They went out of fashion when it was often found that many processes did not involve "Spanish practices" that could be weeded out but could only be brought in at the allowed time or cost by cutting corners. In the legal profession there is a need to look into the steps to be taken, not for the purposes of pricing those steps properly (because that will increase costs), but to eliminate steps.

    For example, how many people has the revised caution helped to convict? At what what cost has that been brought about as lawyers spend time (money) reviewing whether and then arguing about whether a "no comment" interview is justified or whether adverse inferences can be drawn?
 
 
 
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