Friday, September 27, 2013

Legal Aid Should Not Have Gone to Adrian Bayley’s Appeal

Jill Meagher’s killer Adrian Bayley should not have received legal aid to appeal against his sentence.

This case was no Lindy chamberlain. The facts were not contested, there were no gaps in the prosecution case, and the sentence handed down to Mr Bayley was entirely within the judge’s discretion, and entirely appropriate for a man convicted of rape and murder who is in fact a repeat offender.

Of course Mr Bayley, like all defendants, is entitled to a fair trial and legal representation. But legal aid funds are too precious to go on unmeritorious appeals against sentence by convicted killers who have appropriately received lengthy sentences and are simply trying it on.

I regularly have constituents who contact me because they cannot afford the legal representation they need in order to get access to justice. Just yesterday I visited a pensioner constituent whose roof is leaking due to a faulty solar panel installation and who cannot afford the cost of an appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to seek redress.

Legal aid money should go where it will do some genuine good.

1 comment:

  1. I really disagree with an elected representative commenting on the actions of Legal Aid. They have methods for deciding case and fund allocation that should always remain separate from political pressure. The Bayley case was obviously horrifying but it's not your place to throw Legal Aid under the bus for defending a man. They don't always get to help the good guys and frankly it'd be absurd to follow that guiding light.

    I have faith in their internal processes for fund allocation. If you have constituents who are questioning that, I'd recommend you first ask Legal Aid to outline those procedures and reasonings to you before publicly slamming them.