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Why the Nigel Evans case could affect the entire legal system

From time to time, a case emerges that raises the question as to who should pay a defendant's legal costs on their acquittal.

20 May 2014

Nigel Evans’ case did just that. Evans, who was cleared of rape and sexual assault, has spoken about the damaging effect that the trial had on his life, claiming that the CPS should pay his £130,000 legal bill. But is he right?

The logical answer is yes. Evans should be entitled to financial compensation to cover the cost
of his defence and reputational damage. But with government departmental budgets squeezed like never before, the question
is who should take on this financial burden?

Anyone who is refused legal aid but is subsequently acquitted, is entitled to have their legal fees reimbursed. However, the fact that reimbursement is limited to legal aid rates means it is not necessarily reflectiv...

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