Ielts Writing Task 2.

In some countries, some criminal trials in law courts are shown on television so that the general public can watch them. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?

In several nations, court trials are televised publicly. Personally, the benefits of this can outweigh its drawbacks.

One of the primary setbacks of televising criminal trials is that media coverage can lead to widespread frustration and opposition. If the punishments imposed are insensible or there is evidence of bias affecting the judgments, the public will likely react with protest and resentment, which could act as a precursor to social unrest. However, I believe that such a consequence is inevitable, and can even be beneficial to the citizens as they can demand a retrial, which would allow for more sensible judgments to be made. Another disadvantage is that children’s early exposure to criminal trials can inadvertently impact their psyche. Nonetheless, it is parents’ responsibility to preclude their kids from watching those programs, rather than the law courts.

Despite these drawbacks, the advantages of covering criminal trials are more significant, with the chief benefit being the reduction of public stress. For example, by showing a serial killer being sentenced to life punishment, authorities can provide relief to the public relieved and restore their sense of security. Another benefit is that publicizing these trials can also ensure the fairness of judgments, as criminals are penalized sensibly and without favoritism. Consequently, the public will possibly trust their legal system and have confidence in its ability to deliver justice.

In conclusion, I maintain that the perks of broadcasting court trials, including public relief and guaranteed impartiality, can eclipse the disadvantages, such as potential public outrage and negative effects on children’s minds. Moreover, it is my opinion that these setbacks can be managed effectively if

Read the rest

Society edges closer to nuclear option on legal aid | News

Striking criminal barristers will vote this week on whether to accept the government’s revised legal aid offer – as the Law Society edges one step closer to issuing an unprecedented warning over the future of criminal defence work.

Justice secretary Brandon Lewis is hoping he has done enough to end the criminal bar’s action, which began in April, by offering what he announced last week was a package of reforms representing a further £54m investment in the criminal bar and solicitors.

Members of the Criminal Bar Association will be balloted on the new offer tomorrow. The ballot will close on Sunday and the results will be announced the following day.

However, the Law Society is unhappy about the deal, warning that it would advise members not to undertake criminal defence work if the government does not offer the minimum 15% fee uplift recommended for solicitors by the Bellamy review. Chancery Lane repeated the warning following an urgent meeting with justice minister Gareth Johnson MP on the day the new deal was announced.

Of the £54m being offered, £19m is earmarked for solicitors and the Ministry of Justice says further uplifts for solicitors will be announced later this year. However, the Society says the further investment is mainly a one-off and not increasing rates in the long-term, so solicitors are still well below the 15% increase barristers are receiving.

Chancery Lane said it presented its arguments ‘strongly’ to the minister.

Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said it was positive that, as a former minister criminal defence practitioner, Johnson understood the problems in the criminal justice system. ‘However, rather than anything substantial, all that is currently being offered to solicitors by the government is more promises of jam tomorrow. We will continue to push for a fair deal for solicitors for

Read the rest

‘Fight or die’: solicitors handed strategy for legal aid action | News

Criminal defence solicitors should instruct a commercial silk to review their ‘unfair’ government contract, unionise en masse and set up a hardship fund, a former criminal bar chief who co-led the barristers’ strike suggested today.

Lucie Wibberley, former secretary of the Criminal Bar Association, told the Criminal Law Solicitors Association conference a war had arrived at their door. ‘You can choose to fight or you can die,’ she said.

Wibberley said solicitors faced a ‘monopsony plus’. They had one contractor – the government – which had complete control over legal aid fees, forcing them down year after year. ‘The issue you’re facing is an employment law problem and it is unfair.’

Wibberley suggested instructing a commercial silk to review the government contract and understand potential remedies.

Should employees decide to strike, they would be taking action against their employer, the owner of their firm. ‘But by taking that action, you’re creating leverage the firm owner needs to apply pressure to the government.’

Solicitors were told they needed a hardship fund. ‘You have many more mouths to feed,’ Wibberley said. ‘Where do you look? You look to the unions. Unite has a multi-million pound strike fund. That’s how their strikers can afford to go out week after week after week.’

Wibberley urged solicitors to change the narrative from one of despair to one that will unite and mobilise colleagues.

‘The war is at your door. You’re facing a government who do not care if the sector collapses. Forget reasoned arguments. We’re not in court. You’re not going to win this battle by being lawyers. The government you’re facing do not care if you’re going to go out of business. It’s action, not words. Your leverage is whether you choose to work.’

Solicitors were also advised to film themselves outside

Read the rest

England: New Law Society president calls on solicitors to refuse poorly paid legal aid work

England: New Law Society president calls on solicitors to refuse poorly paid legal aid work

The Law Society of England and Wales’s new president has said criminal lawyers should refuse work for which they are not properly remunerated as they demand a 15 per cent increase in legal aid fees, in line with barristers.

Lubna Shuja’s appointment comes as solicitors have been offered a nine per cent rise, despite having spent 25 years without an increase in pay and the fact and independent review recommends a 15 per cent increase.

Ms Shuja said that contractual obligations prevent solicitors from following barristers and taking strike action.

“If we can see that there is an area of work that is just not sustainable and not viable, we’ve got a duty to tell our members that,” she said.

“That’s what we’re here for, the Law Society, we are here to represent, promote, support over 200,000 solicitors, and we have to do that for all of them. So, if we can see that a particular area is not sustainable we’ve got to tell our members that and they will vote with their feet, as they are doing.

“That’s their answer, they’re just saying: ‘I can’t afford to do this work any more: it’s not viable, it’s not sustainable. I can’t live on these kinds of rates. I’m leaving and I’m going to do something else.’ And that is a real issue because the long-term consequences of that is we’re not going to have a criminal justice system.”

She said the number of law firms in England and Wales that have a criminal legal aid contract has declined from 1,652 in 2012 to 964 today.

This has led to legal aid deserts in places including Barnstaple, in north Devon, and Skegness, in Lincolnshire.

Ms Shuja also said that the average age of a duty solicitor is approaching 50

Read the rest