I write with reference to the letter from Alexander McCulloch. It is incorrect to claim, as he does, that the current system deprives any person charged with a criminal offence of the ability to choose their own solicitor.
The duty solicitor scheme certainly forwards a client to whoever is on duty at that date. That does not mean the client, if charged, has to remain with that solicitor. Nor does it prevent the 50% of all clients who do not seek a duty solicitor from choosing their own solicitor. That is certainly the case in respect of a large number of those who do not seek assistance at the police station, but seek assistance once their case gets to court.
Having said all that, the suggestion that one considers the price-competitive tendering proposals as anti-competitive is one worthy of more interest. It is not misconceived to consider the issue of client choice as a main plank of our resistance to these unfair and unworkable proposals.
Stephen Nunn, Nunn Rickard, Exeter