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Showing posts from May, 2013

Stockholm Syndrome

Sometimes I get little theories in my head; this is one of them.
For those of you who haven’t heard of it (there maybe somebody), Stockholm Syndrome is the phenomenon whereby captives form an attachment to their captors.  The phrase first appeared following theNorrmalmstorg robbery when bank employees were held hostage and later refused help from the authorities and defended their captors in public.
Those of us to work with suspects and defendants often see a fledging state of Stockholm Syndrome taking hold of some of our clients.  It usually happens with clients who are new, or relatively new, to the system and particularly among those who would not normally expect to be involved with the Criminal Justice System.
I recall one client who was accused of a number of very serious sexual offences.  I have no doubt that he was innocent and, after hearing evidence from his accusers and from him the jury rejected the evidence against him completely.  He was held by the police for a number o…

Time to abolish legal aid?

Lawyers have a reputation for being money grabbing bastards of the lowest level.  It is quite clear when you speak to some people that they cannot differentiate the criminal defence lawyer from the drug dealer or violent husband whom they represent.  I gather this is much the same for soap-opera actors who must put up with being treated as their characters as they shop for underpants.
The current campaign by lawyers of both main legal professions against the legal aid reforms is mostly being ignored by the general public and the media.  But, when the public do hear of it many seem to take the view that the campaign is a fight by lawyers protecting their own income.
The truth is that if lawyers got into the legal aid game to make quick and easy cash then they are fools because legal aid has never been well paid in comparison to other areas of privately funded law. 
More telling is the fact that so many lawyers oppose the government’s legal aid reforms.  If lawyers of both professions…