an article in the herald sun (also appeared online at news.com and on the australian’s website) has blamed the chronic under-funding of legal aid on legal aid itself.
the title of the article is: lawyers fear the innocent could go to jail with victoria legal aid facing budget blowout.
if i try to link to the page on the herald sun’s website the link doesn’t work, so you’ll have to put that title into a search engine if you want to read it.
the article uses extensive quotes from michael holcroft, the president of the law institute of victoria, to support their implication of poor conduct within legal aid’s management being primarily to blame for their inability to represent everyone in need with their limited funds (whether on not that is his complete opinion is unclear).
“i am told this year there has been a significant blowout” he said. “when i say significant blowout we are talking multiples of $3.1 milion”
so is it $3.1 million michael? or some integer greater than 1 multiplied by $3.1 million? perhaps $6.2 million, or $9.3 million, etc?
of my case he states: “is that the best use of precious legal aid funds? i don’t think there is any lawyer in this state that would say that is a proper use of those funds.” (this statement explains why i feel like giving him shit for misspeaking somewhat with the 3.1 million thing)
i know it to be a fact that mr. holcroft thinks wrong in this circumstance.
the whole thrust of the article is basically this: “shock horror, legal aid money goes to representing people being prosecuted over alleged crimes, while people being prosecuted over alleged crimes miss out”.
fuck off herald sun, you dumb cunt.
in my case, the importance is that if we are not granted victory i will be going in and out of prison until that decision is made correctly — shock horror, state wastes money incarcerating an individual with realistic concerns for democracy, international justice and sustainability.
the fantastic thing is, now that the whole, correctly-biased story and accurate representations of informed public opinion have disappeared from the public sphere, the herald sun gets to make up what will be regarded as public opinion – this means this article will definitely make it harder for me to get representation from legal aid in the future.
legal aid are in a ridiculous situation where, being reliant on public funds, they don’t want to do anything that could piss off the government or the owners of the media (who now make up ‘public opinion’ in the absence of an informed and empowered citizenry) (hyperbole intended and acknowledged).
i feel like my politically-stinky self is at the end of the road with legal aid, especially in light of their new stricter guidelines on who can be represented in 2013 (due to the funding crisis of course).
i’ll be looking for alternative representation or representing myself in the future me thinks, but i guess i don’t really know as yet.