Problems with legal aid
Sep 07, 2009
What is the answer?
Encourage more appropriate charges instead of over prosecution-always a problem. Then, if the appropriate charges are laid, encourage more guilty pleas by use of greater allowances for preparation for sentencing, more use of restorative justice and more resources for expert reports such as drug and alcohol abuse, psychologists, and better probation reports.
For civil legal aid, roll out the mediation model which is to be introduced for family law, and use legal aid to fund mediation in more civil cases.
The rest? Just accept that where the rule of law applies some people will need adequate lawyers but cannot pay for them The cost of large numbers of unrepresented parties will be far greater than the costs of legal aid.