Sunday, 12 January 2014

French perspective on our profession & and how cuts to criminal legal aid will affect it........

Was in France over New Year when Le Figaro reported that some maverick French avocat had used the fact that some holiday stand in magistrat didn't know what he was doing in order to get  a novel order of disclosure from the flics of papers justifying the continued custody of his client.  Apparently a EU Directive comes into force 2nd June 2014 which requires the State to give sufficient disclosure to a person in criminal custody pending trial so as to be in a position to challenge the lawfulness of that custody.  Think we call it primary disclosure.  Such disclosure is not given in France as yet.  Interestingly the article reported that the Police did not want to give French lawyers disclosure because unlike in England where les avocats ango-saxon are responsible and professional, the French avocats would just supply all of the sensitive information about victims to their clients who would then have them intimidated or worse.

That's our international reputation for professionalism which we risk sending to Hell in a handcart once the only way to make a living at the criminal bar is to seek out rich criminals, who will only hand out their dirty money in return for assistance in likely breach of our Code of Conduct.

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