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Cutting legal aid will cost taxpayers money and hurt the system even more

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16.06.2019

There's no question that few people are truly concerned for the welfare of legal aid defence lawyers like me and the $304 bail hearing fee I now stand to lose. But it's not my lost money I'm talking about here. It's yours.

This recent legal aid cut to the criminal defence bar will cost more than it could ever save, in terms of money and in terms of the values we tell ourselves we hold dear. Your tax dollars, those not already earmarked to pay massive legal fees for litigation and fines over beer, wind power and breach of contract, will now go to pay for huge backlogs in the court system.

In a courtroom, there is generally just one person — the defence lawyer — who wants to ensure the fight is fair. One person to level a very stacked playing field and who is routinely chastised and vilified for such audacity. In this age of hashtag activism, where every aggrieved individual turns to social media to voice outrage and highlight their victimization, a professional defender of unproven allegations is seen as merely the........

© Peterborough Examiner