Nelson Says: "Getting a fair hearing in a British Court
is nigh on impossible" for anyone legally aided
HUMAN RIGHTS ACT - A FAIR HEARING
According to Article 6:
(a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;
(b) to have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of a defence;
(c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;
(d) to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;
(e) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.
The scales of injustice - heavily weighted against the common man
Unfortunately, this is rarely the case where a rich man can easily issue instructions to a firm of solicitors and get instant results - good or bad - he gets instant results. Whereas a poor man inevitably experiences difficulty engaging a firm of solicitors, and even if he manages to get his foot in the door, the Legal Services Commission will then seek to strike out his application for public funding. The poor man does not get instant results, not even results in a reasonable timeframe.
We know of a case where an application for funding took a year to be refused and the reason for refusal was itself perverse - the LSC review board invited the applicant to go through the mill again rather than exercise his right to a fair hearing. This then became referred to the Rt Hon Gregory Barker MP (conservative Battle area) who has so far failed to take the matter up with the Parliamentary Ombudsman - it is alleged because his mate Rupert Thornely-Taylor, also a member of the Conservative party, wanted the matter hushed up. Where the matter was put before Ian Duncan Smith as leader of the Conservative Party, he declined to investigate.
Hence. fair has many connotations. Firstly, a person must be given the opportunity of examining the evidence against him. Secondly, where the law is highly specialised, the Government must arrange the system so that every person has access to justice, even if it means publicly funding cases where a person may not be in a position to afford legal representation - clearly the system is problematical. Conditional fee arrangements do not cater for this kind of litigation. Understandably, solicitors are not inclined to spend time on complicated planning cases, when they can chase ambulances for easy money.
You may care to agree that in the circumstances the: "Access to Justice Act" should properly be titled the "Cop Out Justice Act".
EXAMPLES OF WEALDEN DISTRICT COUNCIL KNOWINGLY DEFYING ARTICLE 6:
Perhaps this is a contributing factor to the plethora of reported serious abuses of authority plaguing Council's up and down the country. Where planning is concerned there is very limited access to justice! What is your MP doing about it? Probably nothing. He's too busy working our his expenses claims.