Legal Aid lawyers earn money from Legal Aid shocker!

More news in the Sunday papers about the evil
Glasgow Bar association. Hot on the heels of revelations that the GBA had hired a PR firm (No!), is the news that a number of the lawyers involved in the GBA actually make money from Legal Aid.

This presumably gains its shock value from the fact that most people assumed that the Scottish Legal Aid Board’s budget had already been reduced to the extent where no-one made a living from it any more.

The response from the press to the GBA’s campaign highlightng the dangers of “diversion” has – to my mind – been missing the point. Even if we were to assume that the whole campaign is fuelled by greed, can we please address the points it raises? Should offenders who are guilty of the kinds of criminal activity noted in the examples given (including serious assaults, offensive weapons, firearms etc.) be dealt with by way of diversion from the courts?

If we (as a society) are happy with that, then all well and good. If not, then let’s address these genuine concerns and shut up about the nasty lawyers who are raising them. If they’re really making as much money as some claim, then surely Gordon Brown PM will be levying a windfall tax before too long?

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