‘Justice For Sale’: An Empirical Examination of the Attitudes of Criminal Defence Lawyers Towards Legal Aid Reform
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This article discusses empirical fieldwork undertaken at the ‘Justice For Sale’ meeting of criminal defence lawyers, in May 2013. The fieldwork aimed to explore the views of defence lawyers in relation to the ongoing programme of reforms in their area of practice – particularly those launched by the ‘Transforming Legal Aid’ consultation in April 2013. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods, the fieldwork asked respondents about price-competitive tendering (PCT), client choice, QASA, direct action, their relationship with the Government and the impact the reforms would have on the service provided to suspects and defendants. The article examines the data collected and its meaning, identifying patterns in the responses provided. It concludes by discussing developments in the area since the fieldwork, and speculating on the next steps that may be taken by the criminal defence community in this year of significant change for criminal legal aid.
Smith, T. (2014) '‘Justice For Sale’: An Empirical Examination of the Attitudes of Criminal Defence Lawyers Towards Legal Aid Reform', Plymouth Law and Criminal Justice Review, 6, pp. 14-40. Available at: https://pearl.plymouth.ac.uk/handle/10026.1/9003
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