United by cuts: exploring the symmetry between how lawyers and expert witnesses experience funding cuts

Welsh, Lucy and Clarke, Amy (2022) United by cuts: exploring the symmetry between how lawyers and expert witnesses experience funding cuts. Amicus Curiae, 3 (3). ISSN 2048-481X

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This article highlights that defence lawyers and expert witnesses appear to have experienced the impact of criminal legal aid funding cuts in similar ways. Despite the very different and specialised nature of their respective work, both sets of professional participants in the criminal process identify that funding cuts create problems around sustainability and quality of service.

While a growing body of literature has well documented, and continues to document, the perilous position that defence lawyers are in as a result of funding cuts, less is known about the effect of funding cuts on the work done by expert witnesses. To that end, we conducted two focus groups with expert witnesses during which we put to them some findings from our study of the impact of legal aid cuts on lawyers conducting appellate and Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) casework. During interviews in the CCRC study, it became apparent that defence lawyers were struggling to instruct expert witnesses, so we wanted to explore that issue more with expert witnesses themselves. In doing so, we discovered a significant overlap in the concerns expressed by both defence lawyers and expert witnesses regarding the ways in which their work was affected by funding cuts.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Expert witnesses, legal aid, defence lawyers, sustainability, quality, morale
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 12 May 2022 07:05
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2022 14:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/105874

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