Mike McConville, Jacqueline Hodgson, Lee Bridges and Anita Pavlovic

in Standing Accused

Published in print February 1994 | ISBN: 9780198258681
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681851 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice


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There are firms of solicitors which evidently make a profitable business under the existing system of legal aid, by providing a service that is less reactive to police and court priorities, less discontinuous in the forms of representation provided, less ideologically oriented toward a stereotype of the criminal client as dishonest and untrustworthy, and less predisposed toward concluding cases through guilty pleas. The result over time has been to sharpen the division in practice between Crown Court and magistrates' court work and to reinforce another central feature of the criminal defence practice — the discontinuity of representation offered to the client. The rapid spread of representation in magistrates' courts has been linked to the purpose of solicitors in facilitating not only the general expansion of caseloads in these courts but also the introduction of specific court efficiency measures. Criminal defence and legal aid in general offer a converse ‘ideal type’ to the usual image of the bureaucratic and professionally dominated welfare state service, with its supposed (over) dependence on central planning and unified standards of service.

Keywords: Crown Court; solicitors; firms; legal aid; police; magistrates; criminal defence; representation

Chapter.  14361 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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