Evan Wright

On the 1st May 2014, His Honour Judge Leonard considered applications for a stay of proceedings in a large fraud trial listed at Southwark Crown Court in April 2014.  The application was based upon the submission that publicly funded defendants were without trial counsel because of cuts made to the legal aid rates in cases categorized as ‘Very High Cost Cases’ (VHCC). The judge refused to adjourn the trial and proceedings were stayed in accordance with the defendants’ joint applications. The following article is an account of that decision and a commentary on how the decision may impact upon Ministry of Justice policy. 

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