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legal aid

It's a fine point and one which raises hackles on both sides: should a state (which means the taxpayer) fund legal action against the state (which means the taxpayer as represented by elected members) where the action complained of is itself an action against the state (which means society at large)? It's an area where law, emotion and common sense collide and the result is not a pretty sight.

CoNet Section: 

The UK is undergoing a revolution in how legal advice is provided. After decades of de-regulation which has resulted in many areas of law that were covered by solicitors, supposed improvements have allowed many who are not specifically qualified as lawyers to provide advice and assistance. Add in the ever-more restrictive legal aid scheme and it's no surprise that some people turn to non-lawyers for help. Enter the dangerous world of the "professional McKenzie Friend."

The news that judges, in London, have been charged with fraud is just part of a much larger problem. Alongside them are solicitors. The Metropolitan Police have been investigating what they describe as a "complex fraud team investigation." The case started after a court clerk reported suspicions of suspicious claims for state-funded payments under the Legal Aid Scheme. However, legal aid fraud has been a long-running problem in the legal system in England and Wales with criminal and immigration practitioners being most commonly reported.

A decision in an English court in the case of JG v the Legal Services Commission says that a party who is in receipt of legal aid (state funding) will not generally be authorised to obtain an expert witnesses report with full funding. But it's not that simple.

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