Supreme Court ruling to see former MPs stand trial over expenses claims

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  • I am not a litigator but if there was, as it seems, a single and general point of law in question why did each appellant need his own QC?

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  • "There will be no fighting fund for the three former Labour MPs who have been told by the Supreme Court that they must face a criminal trial over their expenses claims. They will have to go it alone." says The Lawyer's Litigation Weekly bulletin.
    Go it alone? Shurely shome mishtake? You mean no fighting fund apart from taxpayer-financed Legal Aid, to which the Labour Party has made such savage cuts as to leave many in real need unable to secure proper representation to defend their rights.
    The same Legal Aid, eligibility for which is now means tested in the Crown Court, meaning defending a case can be punishingly expensive even for those falsely accused. How fortunate means testing wasn't yet in place at Southwark Crown Court when these men applied, resulting in the taxpayer footing the whole of their legal bills.
    And how fortunate that these publicly-funded defendants are sufficiently high profile to have secured the servies of some very eminent (and no doubt usually very expensive) counsel.
    I'm sure any moderately-earning defendants falsely accused of crimes, funding their defence out of their own pockets and not being able to instruct decent counsel because legal aid rates are now so low as to have dissuaded many able barristers from undertaking publicly funded work, are delighted they voted Labour.
    Happy to swindle the expenses system whilst in office, and screw Legal Aid, and seemingly happy to swindle again when brought to task.

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  • An excellent result. There is no parliamentary immunity for common crime. That's the difference between Westminster and the Duma.

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