Ways and Means

Yesterday saw the return of the means test for Criminal Legal Aid in the Magistrates Court.
I have never seen such unanimity amongst the profession as this (Contracting and Carter always had at least some minority support).
First there has been unanimous reporting feeling about the explanatory road-shows. Useless! This has been coupled with deep sympathy, amongst those I’ve spoken too, for the poor souls “tasked” with delivering these highly inconclusive sessions.
Next has been the “jotters” received yesterday. With one voice the “how much will this have cost?” question has been raised, as has a similar query about their practical value.
Beyond that, operational difficulties reach our ears in significant numbers; you can’t apply here, take the papers to the office down the road, no – we will not grant an adjournment to sort out Legal Aid, we want them posted not handed in, and many more. That’s without all the structural problems, N.I. numbers and partners signatures, and those peculiarities which always get missed in the first design of an an initiative – especially when seemingly so poorly (hurriedly?) prepared as this one.
Any further contributions to this tale of woe can be added in the comments below.

About Author: SP

Comments are closed.