Friday, July 30, 2010

Expenses, part eleventy million

The Court of Appeal has spoken, and the Honourable Gentlemen (sic, for now) will be standing trial in the usual way in due course. Except they're going to appeal to the Supreme Court. Who, fingers crossed, will be as scathing as their brother judges in the Court of Appeal.

If they make it to the hallowed ground of Southwark Crown Court, they're royally fucked*.

*This is not legal advice, and should not be treated as such. It should not be relied upon as investment advice, and the length of your sentence can go down, as well as up.


  1. Not nearly enough of them, Fraud is a broad law and was not used for some strange reason.

    Joseph K.

  2. The existence of both the 'green book' and the Fees Office appear to have somehow provided many of them with a defence to the 'dishonest' part of the points to prove!

  3. The winners in this matter will be the defence lawyers who collect vast amounts of taxpayer funded legal aid irrespective of the judgement handed down by the Court.

    My comments are not intended to make any prejudgment of the variety of Courts that may yet hear their defence. However, it might be considered that the potential legal aid funded costs involved in any future course of action shows that this legally aided jolly train has far to travel before hitting the financial buffers. Unless there is a case dismissal or an early not guilty verdict is achieved, I can foresee the potential use of Crown Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court to challenge the prosecution case wherever, whenever and at every opportunity.

    At a time when the Prime Minister and Government ministers are asking the people to bear the burden of cuts to help reduce the enormous financial debt of this country, surely the granting of legal aid needs to be urgently reviewed. The cost of preparing their defence and of their legal representatives is likely to run into six figures, depending on the length of the trial. It could spiral far higher as the defendants take their battle to have the case against them thrown out at the Supreme Court.

    The government should consider limitation of access to the legal aid system as part of its impending spending review. In the current economic climate, the cost of a legal aid funded defence travelling throughout the CJS has now become a price too high to bear. I believe the taxpayer should only be asked to bear a contribution to a legal aid case heard at Magistrates' and Crown Court level only. For the present, it’s the taxpayer who is being fucked when legal aid case funding is unreasonably allowed.

  4. I must admit I was at a loss as to why the Green Book's "wholly and exclusively for parliamentary business," and the fees office lack of scrutiny. Somehow developed into a reason for the Ghosh test being a bar to a realistic chance of a conviction.

    Joseph K.

  5. Well as one gravy train hits the buffers another is always ready to depart.

    I too share the sentiments of my learned friend and would conclude that if they ever do get on trial they are well and truely fucked!

  6. Not Guilty Juror, you are one of the many tedious people who like to make judgments about things of which they know little or nothing.

    "...the cost of a legal aid funded defence travelling throughout the CJS has now become a price too high to bear". Well lets look at that one shall we... first no travel and waiting times are payable in either the mags or crown court, so that should be your first clue that you are talking bollocks.

    Secondly, the legal aid system has ALREADY been changed and now none of these people (although one is privately funded) would receive legal aid. Unfortunately, this also has other consequences, such as one of my clients who is currently sitting in prison accused of the murder of his/her (yes I'm not giving the game away that easily) child who does not have the benefit of legal aid because he/she does not claim benefits and cannot at present fulfil the endless LSC requirements, such as producing 3 months of bank statements and 3 months worth of pay slips etc etc... so for the time being I'm working for free! How's that for value for money?

    Thirdly, on what do you base the claim that the former MPs (for the Lord is privately funded) defences will run into six-figures given your obvious lack of understanding of the system? Is that figure each of collectively? What for example is the PPE from which you worked out your figure? Have you applied for an uplift and if so on what basis? How much evidence do you anticipate being served electronically and how have you calculated the correct fee for that given that PPE and electronic evidence are paid differently? I do not know whether any of the former MPs is rep'd by the same firm, do you? Have you taken account of the provisions for representing multiple defendants (which do NOT provide double payments)? What offence class have you used to make your calculations? Have you included Counsel's graduated fee claims? If so have you calculated the QC and juniors fees correctly? Do you know the correct PPE claim amounts for solicitor, junior and QC (all of them are different by the way) in a case with this offence class? How have you anticipated the length of trial? Have you made the assumption that both QC and junior will attend for each and every day of the hearing if not what allowance have you made for reducing their refresher fees?

    Or, have you just put down your copy of the Daily Mail and assumed that the cost will run in to six figures and got yourself worked up into an ignorant ill-informed little tiz?

    I am very concerned that you as a member of the public who is entitled to vote seems to believe that people accused of very serious offences that could see them deprived of their liberty for many years should not receive proper representation. Funilly enough, not every one who comes before the criminal courts is guilty. Sometimes there's a mistake, a false allegation or whatever. Do you seriously think that people should not be entitled to proper representation in these cases? Why should they not get funding to assist at an appeal? What if the Birmingham 6 of Guildford 4 had been refused any assistance in their appeals? Certainly money should not be wasted on hopeless appeals, but then it is true to say that it is very difficult to get funding for criminal appeals these days.

    By the way, I've just spent the morning in court for a many who has currently served the equivalant of a 4-month sentence while awaiting trial for possessing 4 (yes four) counterfeit DVDs. Frankly that's more time that he'd have got if he'd beaten up his wife, which also make a point about sentences for violence by the way. He's got another month until his trial. I expect that under you system he should just have a stiff upper lip and do his time and not make such a bloody fuss about the whole thing?

  7. Sorry for the rant but these things get on my nerves.

    As for the actual post, I agree they are probably fecked and I wonder whether we might not see some pleas once the privilege point is settled.

    I saw Jim Devine on the tele after his arrest more or less admitting the offences - said that he had made false claims for stationary but only because he needed the cash to pay staff. He couldn't explain why he didn't just make a claim for staff wages, which made me slightly suspicious.

  8. phatboy, that is one of the most pompous and arrogant rants it has been my misfortune to read. You need to consider how you might appear to the "man on the Clapham Omnibus" when advocating your arguments to a jury in court.

    Has the recent BBC News article about the government announcement that The Ministry of Justice is planning to cut £2bn from its £9bn budget upset you? The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) claims it puts 15,000 of the department's 80,000 jobs at risk and is the "first indication of the true scale of cuts" the coalition is imposing.

    Looks like the government has sided with me in forming a judgment about the wasteful and excessive spending of public money in the CJS.

  9. Ed (not Bystander)August 10, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    Dear NGJ,

    Please come back when you know something about what you're talking about.

    The World

    ps We're not holding our breath.

  10. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    Opps woke up zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  11. NCJ, you must have a good sense of humour. Only somebody with a real cutting edge wit could combine an attack on somebody as being pompous and then refer to the "man on the Clapham Omnibus"... either that or your actually very very pompous yourself!

    In any case, I note that you chose to respond with insults rather than any reasoned argument, which tells everyone a great deal about you.

    By the way, do you think I conduct internet debates in the same way as I might conduct a trial? Hum... I wonder.

    As Ed(Not Bystander) says, do feel free to learn something and then return to the debate.