It is important that proper representaion is available to members of the public at every stage of a prosecution. Where expertise such as forensics is required it does not come cheap and as such may well prevent a defendant from obtaining it.
There have been many instances of accused people pleading guilty to charges beacuse they would not be able to pay costs.
Solicitors, Lawyers et. all are often reluctant to take Legal Aid cases because it is more profitable for them not to do so.
The Legal profession like any other is entiltled to fair renumeration for their expertise. It is a sad reflection of society that if given the choice of being paid under the existing legal aid system or being paid by chargeing a fee it is no surprise which will be chosen.
A workman is worthy of his hire and the legal profession is no different.
Solicitors in attendance at Police station should be paid a fair rate based on the amount of time thay have to be there not a flat rate regardless of the time spent.
Those in attendance should be qualified and not just a law student studying for a degree.
Recently it was reported that some ex members of parliament were granted legal aid when charged with the missuse of their expenses, there have been examples of other members of the public not in the same financial position not been granted it.
I would like to see Legal Aid be made more available not less, and not be at the discretion of a Judge.