Cap on costs in criminal cases

From 31st October, a defendant who is acquitted will no longer be reimbursed his full legal costs.
New rules have just been published by the Ministry of Justice, capping the repayment of legal costs at £52.50 an hour in the magistrates court, £53 an hour in the Court of Appeal and varying rates in the Crown Court.

Hickman & Rose had responded to an earlier consultation on this change by arguing that the new rules were fundamentally unfair.   Many other respondents argued in similar terms that the reform is a disgrace to a country which has hitherto (at least in formal terms) paid due respect to the presumption of innocence.  These warnings have been ignored.

No matter how malicious, unfounded or improper a prosecution, the successful defendant who pays for his own defence will now be left facing finanical ruin in a complex case.

Details are to be found on the Ministry of Justice website:
http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/docs/defendant-costs-orders-rates.pdf

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