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Fair Legal Representation

Equality in law
  (+4, -3)
(+4, -3)
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If a criminal happens to be very rich, they can employ a very good lawyer and get a much reduced sentence for a crime he/she did, or maybe even get off the hook completely.

If an innocent person happens to be not so rich, and has to depend on legal if they're wrongly accused, he/she could end up going down for a crime they didn't comitt.

What I propose is that every lawyer/barrister/etc. is employed by an independant body, and are put into a league table of sorts. Said table could be decided by experience, past results, quality of law degree among other things.

Before a trial the defendant and the prosecution are assigned legal representation of a similar league placing. Therefore both cases will be argued for equally well and (hopefully) the trial will be trully fair.

Mad Dog, May 28 2005

No requirement that Defense council be awake. http://www.cdinet.d....co.uk/cca-brig.htm
Under that heading (scroll down) A lawyer slept through defense of his client in a trial with the death penalty as a possible (and I think eventual) outcome. [Zimmy, May 28 2005]


       I bunned this just for the effort. I don't think this would really work(what [Pa've] said). And neither does the current U.S. system for the reasons you give. How to arrive at a fair justice system? I have no idea.
zeno, May 28 2005

       I once posted an idea for Matched Legal Costs - where the idea was that any money spent on the case by either side is actually shared between the two. The intent was to equalise the clear advantage that the wealthy have in the arena of law, but the problems outnumbered the advantages.
Detly, May 28 2005

       [scout] the last line of your anno is pointlessly and provocatively inflammatory. Lose it.
bristolz, May 28 2005

       [Pa`ve] has a perfectly legitimate point (Edit: before he went and deleted his account). If for example, there was only one particularly good lawyer in a particularly specialised field, there would be no way for him or her to represent anyone, as it would give that person an advantage. Then he/she would make no money. Therefore there would be no reason for a lawyer to try and distinguish themselves and all would attempt to appear mediocre.
Applying communist ideals will not work on any major government function of a capitalist country.

       [Zeno] your question is mostly rhetorical. Justice and the legal system are often mutually exclusive.
hidden truths, May 28 2005

       Been bitten by a lawyer recently, [MadDog]?
gnomethang, May 28 2005

       Just hope you can afford better than John Benn or Joe Frank Cannon, who apparently sleep at their council's trials.
Zimmy, May 28 2005

       //trail by duel//   

       Or even better, trial by ordeal.   

       I think lawyers should be made to look foolish by wearing a different ludicrous costume every time they appear in court. They should also have to walk to work, wearing said ludicrous costume.
No real reason, I just think it'd be funny. Other than that, what [hidden] and [Pa've] said.
moomintroll, May 28 2005

       How about: lawyers are chosen by both sides but then the flip of a judicial coin decides which lawyer represents which side?

[edit] bugger. Just saw 'council swap toss' from 2001. Beaten to it.
Basepair, May 28 2005

       [moomintroll] //I think lawyers should be made to look foolish by wearing a different ludicrous costume every time they appear in court.//
Is the current ludicrous costume insufficiently ludicrous, or insufficiently varied?
Basepair, May 28 2005

       was Lawschool not ordeal enough? I've heard of pages being cut out of library texts so as not to be used by competitors.
Zimmy, May 29 2005

       99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.   

       I guess you don't live in a part of the world where the dream is to sue you to death, [Mad Dog] ... or you'd want the best representation you could buy. Now if an attorney who just pocketed several millions of dollars for a client suing someone who made their kids' skin red from tomato fungicide spray were to be required to represent clients who were facing suits until the attorney's clients were to lose an equivalent several millions of dollars, I'd say some lawyers would buy into the scheme.   

       "Oh, your client's on easy street from a slip and fall? What are you doing now?"
"Defending businesses against wrongful termination suits."
reensure, May 29 2005

       //every lawyer/barrister/etc. is employed by the state//

Bad idea. In a criminal trial you're being prosecuted by the state. I don't think that I'd sleep very well at night knowing that my legal representative works for the opposition.
DrBob, May 29 2005

       Good point [hidden truths], but a sliding scale of pay could be introduced, meaning that there would still be a financial incentive for being at the top of the profession.   

       I've changed the wording slightly to make my idea clearer [DrBob], and I'm confident that said independant body would remain separate from The Crown Prosecution Service.
Mad Dog, May 29 2005

       [moomintroll], take a look at the link if you want an abstract courtroom.   

       So the CPS would hire out lawyers from this independant body? Or would two random lawyers be given the facts of the case and expected to take one of the jobs?   

       In the scheme of things, in this country at least, miss-carraiges of justice are very rare. They are mostly seen in high-profile cases where the police are under-pressure to find a culprit. Such cases are rare and surprisingly few of them rely on government funded lawyers.
hidden truths, May 29 2005

       There's a difference between what is recognised as a miscarriage of justice and the blatant inequity that exists in the legal arena. Dragging a trial out to some unbearable length of time by exploiting technicalities is a luxury that can only be afforded by the wealthy, and forces the poorer party to settle or drop the case completely. It is certainly not a miscarriage of justice, in the legal sense.
Detly, May 30 2005

       //Before a trial the defendant and the prosecution are assigned legal representation of a similar league placing. Therefore both cases will be argued for equally well //
Or equally badly.
calum, May 30 2005

       What? No lawyer jokes?
Susan, May 30 2005

       Lawyer and a horse walk into a bar.
Barkeep says, "Is this a joke?"
reensure, May 30 2005

       //or equally badly//   

       At least it's equal, which is much better then one side argued averagely, and the other side brilliently
Mad Dog, May 30 2005

       It's also the physical appearance of the defendant that influences the jury. Perhaps poor Black defendants could choose optionally to attend their trial by television, while a rich-looking White guy sits at the table and pretends to be the defendant (unbeknownst to the jury).   

       [wouldn't work if defendant needs to be called to the stand or if an eyewitness describes the defendant]. Or, more pathologically, maybe it *would* still work.
phundug, May 31 2005


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