The effects of changes to legal aid on lawyers’ professional identity and behaviour in summary criminal cases: a case study

Welsh, Lucy (2017) The effects of changes to legal aid on lawyers’ professional identity and behaviour in summary criminal cases: a case study. Journal of Law and Society, 44 (4). pp. 559-585. ISSN 0263-323X

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Abstract

This article explores the effects of changes to legally aided representation on criminal cases in magistrates’ courts according to data collected in an area of South East England. I consider the political factors that motivated changes to legal aid and suggest how these issues affecting lawyers’ understanding of their role, and how that understanding affects the relationships between defendants, lawyers and the magistrates’ courts. I argue that the research indicates a potential relation between solicitors’ risk taking behaviour in obtaining funding and the reintroduction of means testing; remuneration rates affect the service that defendants receive and that the reintroduction of means testing decreased efficiency in summary criminal courts. Ultimately, I argue that changes to legal aid funding have increased lawyers’ uncertainty about their role, leaving them torn between acting efficiently and providing a good level of service.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Depositing User: Lucy Welsh
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2017 10:03
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2017 12:43
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/69195

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