Monday 17 September 2018

No Equal Justice Under The Law

No one likes baddies. Everyone agrees that baddies should be locked up and we should throw away the key.

But what if you're not a baddie?

What if you have been, say, falsely accused by someone, or targeted by over-zealous police just trying to get their arrest numbers up?

Well, you'll be glad to hear that in this country we have a simple solution to this.

It's called a court of law.

In cases where you have been falsely accused or wrongly targeted by police you can choose to plead 'not guilty' and demand to go before a Scottish court of law to protest your innocence. In other words, you get to have your day in court.

The Procurator Fiscal will prepare a prosecution case against you. You in turn, will instruct a solicitor prepare a defence for you. At the end of it, the court will decide whether they believe you or not.

Sounds pretty fair, right?

Well, actually, no, it's not really fair. In fact it's far from fair at all.

You see the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service have over 500 lawyers and more than £112 million available to them to prepare their prosecution case against you.

You, on the other hand, have just one lawyer and £500 of legal aid money to prepare your defence.

That's not just unfair, that's ludicrously unfair.

If you are an innocent member of the Scottish public who mistakenly finds himself in a Scottish court of law for any reason whatsoever, the deck is massively stacked against you.

The Scottish Government recently asked Martyn Evans, the chief executive of Carnegie UK Trust, to carry out an independent review of legal aid on behalf of the Government.

So what was his conclusions?

He told the Government that he could find no justification for an increase in legal aid fee levels.

Seriously, you couldn't make this stuff up.

What planet do these people live on???