snoozeofreason wrote: ↑
Sat Jul 24, 2021 1:29 pm
discovolante wrote: ↑
Thu Jul 22, 2021 7:35 am
I also think it's about time that 'bad things don't happen here' was qualified to add '...to white people with passports' (or a variant of that, there are lots of marginalised groups of course). Sorry if that seems like a bit of a pointless statement but I guess that apart from it being incredibly selfish, we ignore the way the government treats and has treated other people for years at our peril.
Given the hollowing out of the legal aid system that has happened over the last decade, I think the qualification needs to run something along the lines of '...to white people with passports and very deep pockets.' Or possibly, to white people with very deep pockets who don't mind waiting months and years for any a case they are involved in to be allocated court time, and who don't find that evidence relating to that case has gone missing
in the interim.
When we think about the threats posed by the government to our civil liberties we tend to be very mindful of active attempts to grant that government more legislative power - and so we should - but the slow disempowerment of ordinary citizens by limiting access to the law tends to get less coverage because it is often rather gradual (and also because it often effects people who are easily viewed in an unsympathetic light).
You're preaching to the choir here pal
although the media focus tends to be on the criminal courts (which is fair enough) it isn't really all sunshine and roses on the civil side either. Caveat here that I'm comparing one of the busiest courts in central London to a fairly rural court in Scotland, but the contrast from dealing with Central London county court (and a few others) to moving to Scotland and dealing with some of the local sheriff courts here was obscene. In central London it could take months - at one point around a year - to deal with some types of correspondence, you couldn't actually speak to anyone from the court on the phone, and it was basically pointless to actually do anything on cases because it just wouldn't get dealt with (so there is the standard case procedure to follow but depending on what happens with a case you can lodge applications to try and get other stuff to happen in the meantime - pointless). If the court makes a mistake (which it often did) it could take weeks to resolve. Moving to Scotland, I could call the courts directly, know several of the clerks by name, if something was urgent you could give them a bell and ask if they could deal with it quickly, if you're at the court itself you could pop over to the counter to speak to someone etc. Not all courts are the same of course but the difference was astounding. Chronic understaffing and high staff turnover was a big problem.
And it wasn't that uncommon for civil courts in England to lose files either...although the consequences are generally less dire because a lot of it is just documents that are saved on your computer somewhere so you end up 'helping' the court by sending it all back to them again...
And yeah legal aid is f.cked. Payment for judicial review proceedings in England and Wales is still conditional and at the discretion of the legal aid agency in some circumstances - so in most types of cases, if you are awarded legal aid then you get it, you get paid (not without lots of knock backs for certain payments etc, but that's about how much not whether or not you get paid at all). For judicial review if you don't win then you might just not get paid (broadly speaking, it's a bit more complicated than that), and judicial review is resource intensive. See here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/civi ... ial-review
In Scotland for what it's worth, legal aid is much more widely available in terms of the types of cases you can get it for, but the pay is absolute peanuts, worse than England and Wales...
Anyway that was a bit of a rambly ramble!