A child’s guide to the Justice System
Police Officers catch all the bad people …
… and they go to jail.
Does this stay in an adult’s mind? If you have had no dealings with the law, do you not know any better?
Who/what is the Procurator Fiscal – or Prosecutor Physical as it appears to be better known (COPFS – time for a name change, perhaps?)
Your stereotypical lawyer. Because only one kind of lawyer does exist and they get paid hundreds of thousands to let the murders and rapists go free.
If you are charged with an offence, does that automatically make you a criminal? Go directly to jail, do not pass Go, do not collect £200?
Everyone in this country has a right to a defence. What happened to the term innocent until proven guilty? That is the job of the Crown Office, to prove the accused is guilty of the charge.
There is a perception that it is only the “lowest of society” that commit crime and they don’t deserve the taxpayer’s money to be spent on a defence to “try get them off”.
Anyone can be accused of breaking the law at some point. Take driving for example -
A bus driver turns right into a street with low sunlight and collides with a pedestrian crossing the road who subsequently dies from their injuries. The driver is charged with causing death by careless driving. A serious charge that could result in a jail sentence. After three days of evidence from both prosecution and defence the accused is acquitted of the charge. The Courier 13th September 2012
Could you defend yourself? How hard can it be, right? Law degrees are a piece of cake …
“The primary problem is is that they don’t know know to put their cases in a technical way. They are terrified, usually. They don’t understand the substantive law, they don’t understand the procedure, they don’t understand the law of evidence. It’s a bit like a school pupil going before the headmaster.” - Prof Richard Moorhead of Cardiff Law School on an individual choosing to defend themselves.
Perhaps not so easy ..
Maybe you feel that you are guilty of an offence but not specifically what you are charged with. A lawyer can argue for an amendment to the original charge. Without them you would either have to plead guilty to something you did not do or plead not guilty and attempt to defend yourself.
There are many court cases which finish with the accused convicted of an altered charge to the original.
The Scottish Government wants to change the way Criminal Legal Aid Works-
Anyone with a disposable income (meaning of the term has yet to be disclosed) of over £68 a week or has over £750 in savings will have to make a contribution towards their Legal Aid. A study from April 2012 says that the average family disposable income is £144 a week. The Telegraph 24th April 2012
If you plead not guilty to what you are charged with you will have to contribute more money than if you plead guilty.
If you are acquitted of the charges you will not receive back the contribution you have already paid towards your Legal Aid.
The Human Rights Act is seen to be the cause of destruction of the United Kingdom until it is you that is protected by it.
Defence lawyers are not all ‘fat cats’ who are only after making more money. They are there to help you and make sure you are given this fair trial that you are entitled to. Did I mention that they will have to collect these contributions from clients themselves? Does this matter to you? Perhaps not, but if they think you cannot afford to pay, they can refuse to defend you.
Legal Aid cuts means that many people will not have access to justice that they should be entitled to.
I have no law qualifications and am only concerned about showing the facts to others, so for more detailed information try Protest For Justice