Home / Insights / Blog / Justice fears over legal aid cuts

Justice fears over legal aid cuts

Justice fears over legal aid cuts

The Government’s plans to overhaul the legal aid system could put more innocent people behind bars. That’s the view of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), a body responsible for investigating miscarriages of justice. It claims the cuts would make suspects who are vulnerable or mentally more likely to be convicted of crimes as some would not be defended by top solicitors and barristers used to exposing false confessions.

The CCRC suggests that not only would the £220m legal aid cuts stop lawyers preventing miscarriages of justice, they would also lead to the taxpayer having to pay big money to correct them. Critics are bound to use the CCRC’s views to aid their fight against the Government’s proposals to stop suspects choosing their own legal representation and cut the fees lawyers receive from legal aid. It is the CCRC’s job to examine justice system failures and it has looked at just short of 15,000 cases since it began in 1997. Of the cases it has investigated, 328 convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal.

The commission says fair access to good lawyers is vital to the justice system’s ability to prevent cases of wrongful or unsafe convictions. It says it is much less costly if lawyers spot miscarriages of justice before people are convicted than having to deal with them afterwards.

We have one of the leading teams of criminal law specialists in West London and the South East. If you are facing a serious criminal charge, contact a member of the IBB’s Criminal Defence team: call us on 08456 381381 or email criminaldefence@ibblaw.co.uk.