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Standing AccusedThe Organization and Practices of Criminal Defence Lawyers in Britain$
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Mike McConville, Jacqueline Hodgson, Lee Bridges, and Anita Pavlovic

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198258681

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198258681.001.0001

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Defence Solicitors in Criminal Cases: An Introduction

Defence Solicitors in Criminal Cases: An Introduction

(p.1) 1 Defence Solicitors in Criminal Cases: An Introduction
Standing Accused

Micke McConville

Jacqueliene Hodgson

Lee Bridges

Anita Pavlovic

Oxford University Press

This chapter concentrates on solicitors and their staff and the nature and quality of the legal defence and ‘representation’ they provide to these clients on a routine basis. It starts by presenting the development of criminal defence. While recommending that legal aid for trials in the higher criminal courts and for committals should be the norm, the Widgery Committee argued that legal representation for magistrates' court defendants should remain a minority phenomenon and that legal aid should be granted only in certain specified circumstances, under what were to become known as the ‘Widgery criteria’. The data cannot be claimed that the forty-eight firms of solicitors constitute a fully representative sample of the total of between 6,000 and 7,000 separate solicitors' offices in the country who undertake criminal defence work under legal aid each year.

Keywords:   defence solicitors, criminal defence, Widgery criteria, Widgery Committee, legal representation, criminal cases

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