Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Tuesday Truth

Not a good week…………………

So we lost the appeal against the JR, the government still plan to proceed with 2 tier, despite the constitutional convention of purdah (which prior to a few months ago I thought was the female character in the New Avengers) and by the back door they brought in a Court tax which looks like a means to bully the poor into pleading guilty.

Do not worry, the burden of proof still exists, innocent till proven guilty, the hallmarks of our great system still in place, well sort of but if you dare plead Not Guilty, dare test the prosecution case, well it will cost you.

In fact the sentencing process will now take much longer and all defendants will get free calculators because you will need to calculate the fine, prosecution costs, the victim surcharge and the court tax, and work out how many years it will take to pay off. It will take the Magistrates an hour to explain all of that. Simple Summary Justice………….

Jamie Hamilton perfectly summaries how outrageous this new Court/Trial tax is in his blog https://jaimerhblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/the-trial-tax/

 The loss of the appeal against the JR refusal was a disappointment for all. If the duty solicitor proposal is ever introduced, both solicitors firms and the bar will be decimated.

With an election looming the time for finding a common way forward has never been more important. I have said it before and will say it again both arms of the profession need to address the few areas of division in private not public. We need our leaders to look forward to the post election period; whoever is in power will not be handing out increases in fees.

Grayling’s decision to proceed with the tender despite purdah and Labour’s stated policy not to proceed with this scheme if elected reflects his entire attitude to the provision of justice, cut, restructure and privatise first and ask questions after.

Convention appears to demand that he postpones the introduction of this controversial policy until after the election. What advice has he been given by the Civil Service? Many think he has been told to stop but that he has so little respect for the constitution he is supposed to protect that he intends to go ahead regardless.

Can we make access to justice an election issue? What can Labour really offer? Can we show that a proper and fair democracy needs proper access to justice for all not just the wealthy? Previously this has never been a big election issue but now it is time to hold the key people to account: Grayling, Hughes and many others.

The Panorama on DIY Justice is another independent review of this government’s performance on access to justice. Watch it if you can.

The Tuesday Truth is not a political blog, we like to publish a range of contributions and opinions, but we are delighted to finish this week with a ditty written by Ali Parker ……….Perhaps we may hear you singing it outside a court building in the near future. 


To the tune of That's Amore

When the legal aid cuts
Are vindictive and nuts
That's the Tories

When you get back no costs
Even though the State lost
That's the Tories

When the translator's late
And the usher's irate
That's the Tories

When the van's disappeared
And cell staff are in tears
That's the Tories

When court canteens are gone
And Starbucks costs a bomb
That's the Tories

When court fees have been hiked
And Probation's on strike
That's the Tories

When the CPS file
Is floating down the Nile
That's the Tories

When insisting on proof
Is considered uncouth
That's the Tories

When the poor and the frail
Swell the numbers in jail
That's the Tories.

When G4S overclaims
But then no one gets blamed
That's the Tories

When reforms are just dense
With no financial sense
That's the Tories

When you try to assist
But your points are dismissed
That's the Tories

When Chief Whips swear at cops
And still sue them for lots
That's the Tories

When their top QC leaves
Fare thee well Dominic Grieve
That's the Tories

When they crack down on thugs
But give Clarkson big hugs
That's the Tories

When human rights get bashed
Unless you've tons of cash
That's the Tories.

When the sum of all fears
Is to think 'five more years'
That's the Tories.

When the last fallback plan
is to vote Miliband
That's the Tories



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