Friday, November 01, 2013

Higher Fees for Guilty Pleas

Only in Cameron Conservative Britain.   There the government wants to 'reform' the legal aid system to set defence counsel against their clients by making it lucrative for lawyers to enter guilty pleas as early as possible.  Legal aid lawyers will also lose money if cases actually go to trial.

The London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association (LCCSA), which has examined revised fee figures  ...says that a pattern of perverse financial incentives will affect both magistrate and crown court cases.

'A clien pleading guilty to a standard actual bodily harm charge in crown court will earn their lawyer as much as a 20% fee increase,' the LCCSA said. 'There are some cases in crown court where a quick guilty plea will earn a lawyer a 75% fee increase.'

Perfect, give your defence lawyer a financial incentive to toss you to the wolves. Only in post-Thatcher Britain and, yes, it's a pity.


Scotian said...

That is just sick. People seem to have forgotten the reason why it was better to let ten guilty men go free than to falsely imprison one. Not only was false imprisonment a perversion of justice, it has a clear corrosive effect where it alters a society and helps to turn it more into a banana republic kind of society as opposed to the rule of law.
That is one of my personal reasons
for believing the victims rights movements in NA has gained too much power and is fundamentally harming the concept and practice of the rule of law, equality under the law, due process, and inherent justice, and if they and their supporters pick up on this notion from the UK it will only get that much worse.

The rule of law and equality under it used to be seen as one of the standards by which we measured freedom and civilization itself. It was one of the things western society loudly proclaimed as core reason/basis why we were fundamentally superior to the Soviet block's style of governing and being worth fighting for even to the risk of turning the planet into a smoking cinder. The presumption of innocence and the protection of such was at the center of that. This measure by Cameron's government is one of the most disturbing as well as disgusting assaults on that concept, and to see this coming from the home of the Magna Carta is particularly terrifying.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes, Scotian, it is odious and the shamelessness with which these measures are taken is just as bad. Magna Carta is being shredded before our eyes and nowhere more than in the United States. Indefinite detention, even execution, without charge or trial? The thing is that, as a society, we are not ready to accept that we will have to fight to recover our rights. They will not be restored without compulsion.

Purple library guy said...

Seems Cameron's trying to go American. The inducements are a bit different, but I understand that in the US very few cases go to trial either, mostly due to, basically, extortion: Our courts are stacked so you will lose if you go to trial, so eat this plea bargain and plead guilty or you will inevitably be convicted of a bigger offense. For that it helps to actually have a kangaroo court system, of course.

There the incentives are more to the prosecutors, who advance their careers by amassing lots of convictions; actually having to go through trials would reduce a prosecutor's numbers just by taking up his time.

It's kind of sad that I don't really know how bad these phenomena are in Canada.