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Holding court

The trials and tribulations of a criminal legal aid barrister

15 August 2011

29 August 2011 - The art of the advocate

It is often forgotten that a criminal case is only as good as the investigation and presentation. The rest is administration which might produce the paperwork but cannot further justice. The news last week was full of the revelation that a junior diplomat at the Libyan Embassy is suspected of being responsible for shooting PC Yvonne Fletcher in 1984. Scotland Yard has kept the case open and is apparently planning to send officers to Libya in the hope of bringing the suspected killer and his alleged accomplices to justice.

Assuming an investigation is possible and extradition is successful, fast forward a few years to the trial at the Old Bailey. Who will be the advocates and what quality of advocate will be available after advocacy assessments and legal aid cuts? Will the new CPS Grading Scheme remove work from quality silks? Will the proposed Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) cr...

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