We spend £38 each on Legal Aid every year. The French spend £3 each. Having lived and worked in both countries, I have preference for either system, so I’d like my 40 times £35 back, invested annually from the start.
95% of us will not get Legal Aid, or even be able to sue over matters we consider invidious. We will be able to engage lawyers for divorce if there’s some capital, and they will get this. The Legal Aid bureaucrats will do pretty much anything to stop you getting any help, and even invent income you don’t have.
Lawyers generally won’t do anything except for money – they are private sector restricted practices after all. Judges could come from a cross-section of most society, but don’t. They are very expensive.
We need changes in our structures to get rid of all this kind of over-spend. We have much greater problems at this kind of level than with any benefits culture and the two areas of middle class sinecure and dole-blodging have much in common.
We need to attack this kind of abuse of everyone else by such elites as lawyers. Most law can be done without them and access to them could be via a CAB-style organisation, and by lot where needed for court. The rich would have to give up their privilege of hiring the best, and the evil poor their privilege of beating victims up with them too. Much could be done with proper mediation and Ombudsmen services totally unlike the shite currently on offer.
The idea of collapsing our bloated Legal Aid system would be better and fairer representation.
“The idea of collapsing our bloated Legal Aid system would be better and fairer representation.”
An idea not coming any time soon from our well heeled Parliamentarians.
Quite right Melvin. Much as I dislike the Ancient Greeks, a lot would be better.
The only reason for legal aid is because the legal system is effectively broken. All the legal system needs to do is enforce fairness in society; prevent people harming others and enforce fair contracts, and that is all. If you need to employ highly trained, expensive professionals to interpret the law and work within it then you’re doing something wrong; specifically the law has been made unclear and over-complex.
Our law is like this, and needs simplification. The simpler the law and the sparser it is, the less it takes to operate it and the fewer lawyers needed to run the system. An automatic sunset clause on laws so that if unused for a period of time (10 years, say) they automatically get repealed would be a good idea; this would pare the huge amount of legal verbiage down to a reasonable minimum in fairly short order. It would also reveal how much utter tripe is passed by our miserable excuse for a Parliament.
Spot on Dan. I spent over 10 days watching in one of our magistrates’ courts without seeing any justice that merited the amount of work put in or any of the lawyers. That most of the matters were even in a court seemed inappropriate.