Emily Dugan Profile picture
May 8, 2018 10 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Exclusive: leaked report from the MoJ reveals explosive testimony from judges who have seen a rise in people facing criminal charges without a lawyer buzzfeed.com/emilydugan/the… #TheLawIsBroken #LegalAid
I have been trying to get hold of this report since April last year. Last week I wrote about a 6 page summary which was released to me under FOI. buzzfeed.com/emilydugan/the…
It had no quotes from the judges and I was convinced it wasn't the full report. I told the MoJ press office as much but they insisted it was repeatedly.
I now have a copy of the report from February 2016. It is 36 pages long and it is fair to say the judges' quotes are fiery
Legal aid cuts are a subject that can be hard to engage with until you've seen someone with no A-levels flounder against a highly qualified lawyer
I've spent a lot of the last year watching this happen in courts across the country and the ones with nobody to fight their corner are almost always the most marginalised
Steven Shipman had just £40 a month left after bills working as an agency chef. He couldn't afford a lawyer but his earnings put him above the threshold for criminal legal aid means test, which hasn't been updated since 2010
He had never been in trouble before but after being caught driving with cannabis in his car he had to represent himself on charges of possession and driving under the influence of drugs buzzfeed.com/emilydugan/thi…
It is common for people to suggest that legal aid cuts haven't really impacted on criminal courts since the headline impact of Laspo was in civil law
But the introduction of an earnings cap in crown court and a failure to update the means test in magistrates court means that facing criminal charges with no lawyer is a reality for anyone with a low income

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