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A Victory for Barristers and Defendants

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Auckland District Law Society Inc Welcomes Court of Appeal Decision in Criminal Fixed Fee And Complex Cases Policy


A Victory for Barristers and Defendants

Auckland, 24 May 2013 – The Auckland District Law Society Incorporated (ADLSI) today welcomed the Court of Appeal’s decision in the Criminal Fixed Fee and Complex Cases Policy, which sought to limit the amount paid to criminal barristers undertaking legal aid.

ADLSI Vice President, Brian Keene QC, says that today’s decision is a victory not only for common-sense, but also for defendants and their counsel.

“This is an issue that the public and legal profession rightly feel very strongly about. For this reason ADLSI provided substantial financial and moral support to the Criminal Bar Association to enable it to bring the appeal. The Association’s action questioned the injustices that would result from the implementation of the Criminal Fixed Fee and Complex Cases Policy.

“The right to a proper defence is a right of all New Zealanders. It must deliver access to justice regardless of financial circumstances. We believe that limiting legal aid payments would have limited the way criminal barristers defend their clients, and so result in unsafe convictions.

“We have a strong justice system in New Zealand and the decision of the Court of Appeal today preserves it.”

Ends

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