There is a thoughtful, as ever, piece on the Op Cotton case here .

I have insufficient time to comment save with regard to the PDS. My views on this unaccountable, but certainly highly expensive, vanity project are well known. I have no objection in principle to a public defenders service however were it to be of equivalent quality to the current criminal defence service it truly would be the “most expensive system in the world”.

The new Public Advocate wing is an untested, knee jerk response to the VHCC crisis and is considered in some detail in yesterday’s judgment. Firstly it is not of sufficient size to assist in such a case, nor does that seems ever likely. Furthermore we can only guess about its potential cost effectiveness, mine, for what it’s worth, is that it too will prove nowhere close to value for money provided by private practice.

This section of the judgment gets to the point

Having considered all these matters I am compelled to conclude that, to allow the State an adjournment to put right its failure to provide the necessary resources to permit a fair trial to take place now amounts to a violation of the process of this court.

Justice, for victims as well as defendants, costs money – this is what happens when you do not make that a priority in public policy.

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