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Advocacy Section

MoJ refuses to publish research on unrepresented defendants

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Solicitors have expressed disbelief at the government’s decision to sit on research about unrepresented defendants in Crown courts.

Labour peer Lord Beecham asked the Ministry of Justice when it intends to publish a report on issues faced by courts and practitioners as a result of cases in which defendants are unrepresented.

However, a government spokesperson in the Lords, Baroness Buscombe, said the research was ‘designed and delivered as an internal report to give the government a better understanding of the practical issues associated with unrepresented defendants’. The government has ‘no plans’ to publish the report, she said. 

Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association chair Zoe Gascoyne said publication of the research would be in the interests of everyone who comes into contact with the criminal justice system.

Read the full Gazette article

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