Doncaster lawyers stage court protest

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Criminal cases at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court were delayed and adjourned today as defence lawyers mounted another protest over legal aid reforms.

About a dozen solicitors ‘downed briefs’ and stood outside the College Road courthouse rather than representing their clients.

Spokesman Dale Harris, of Foys, said: “Local practitioners decided to refuse representation in the criminal courts this morning to bring attention to the threat to the criminal justice system from the crippling cuts to the criminal defence budget. Without a properly funded defence, a fair trial is impossible and there are no safeguards to prevent miscarriages of justice. Many firms will have to decide whether to continue offering criminal legal aid services to the public.”