The Law Society’s Gazette, June 1963Criminal legal aid

The interim report on legal aid in criminal appeals published recently by ‘Justice’ was followed almost immediately by the final report of the working party on legal aid in criminal proceedings. Both reports describe the existing facilities quite clearly and unequivocally as unsatisfactory.

Letters to the editor

If one permits the public notion of a profession to become diluted, then inevitably the standing of the professional man suffers. That is why the claims of surveyors, architects, cutlers, and of estate agents, journalists, schoolteachers, private enquiry agents, etc, ought to be resisted. With respect, membership of the legal profession does, ipso facto, make a person learned in the law. For myself, I make no greater claim to learning than was required to pass the Law Society’s examinations. S.P. Best

8 June 1988 Postbox: Legal aid rates

The purpose of this letter is to let you know I have just made the decision on behalf of my firm that we will no longer carry out Crown court work on legal aid except in very unusual circumstances. The reasons for my decision are simply that criminal legal aid is not only appallingly badly paid, but the process of claiming payment is time consuming and extremely irksome.

It gives me no pleasure at all to have made my decision. I only hope that the legal aid authorities and those responsible for the government’s purse sort out civil legal aid before that system too becomes beset by the problems in the criminal legal aid system. ASR Walker, Cirencester

12 June 2008 Letters to the editor

I am writing to comment on an address given by shadow attorney general Dominic Grieve QC (pictured) to a meeting organised by my criminal defence firm, Hine & Associates.

Mr Grieve indicated that should the Conservatives return to power, they would not proceed with the proposed competitive tendering for criminal legal aid contracts. He expressed his support for the current two-tier system that maintains the status quo between the role of solicitors and barristers.

Although he described competitive tendering as ‘massively destructive’, Mr Grieve disappointingly stated that if the current proposals are implemented in the lifetime of the present government, a future Conservative government would do nothing to reverse the process.

Tony Hine, Hine & Associates