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Defendants in person, aliens, and the MoJ Jekyll and Hyde

The Secret Barrister: Injustice waddles hand-in-hand with a lack of legal representation

20 May 2016

'Right.' The legal adviser looked at me, then back at the defendant.

'And are any of them going to be witnesses for you today?'

'Any of who?' replied the defendant.

The legal adviser looked at me again and cleared his throat. 'Any of the aliens?'

The defendant shook his head angrily. 'No! My case isn't that aliens did make me do it - it's that at the time I believed they were making me do it. I was insane, yeah? Insane!' He brandished
his antique copy of Archbold triumphantly, as I, a newbie to this prosecuting lark, took my seat and settled in for what proved to be a particularly long trial.

Notwithstanding the years that have passed since that remorseless day, defendants in person (DiPs) are far from a bygone relic.

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