Monday, December 21, 2009

Where to begin?

What a few days! Firstly, the so-called "best-value tendering" was abandoned. This process of a reverse auction for the provision of legal aid services would have been disastrous for those in crime, both in the sense of practising it and committing it. People would receive less attention from their legal aid lawyer, who would be desperately trying to make a decent living by churning cases. Even if you know nothing about the law and how it functions, this decision was a major victory for people's rights.

Then, the Law Society, perhaps emboldened by this success, has started an action against the government in respect of means testing in the Crown Court.

"What's means testing?", I hear you cry. Those who can afford to pay for their defence, will have to do so. The acquitted will be 'refunded'. The reality is that people with a half-decent wage (£20k ish) will probably be above the line, and will be hammered with big bills. The pressure is obvious -- cough up the wedge, or just plead guilty and save yourself some money. Even if you're acquitted, you won't get it all back.

Then, reality hit. People are still having their reputations ruined, and our libel laws are still stifling medical debate.

Ho hum.


  1. "Thomsen's lawyer, Andrew Stephenson, said his client's defence would be that the presentation and article were covered by qualified privilege, which can protect freedom of speech." According to a report in the Guardian.

    I wonder why he isn't trying to run the defence of justification?

  2. One rule for the rich, one for the, in stark reality, it has always been...and unless we make our fat overbloated MPs a little bit less privileged and, moreover, somewhat poorer, then so it will always be...