Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Victoria Legal Aid Deficit

It is troubling that Victoria Legal Aid has tripled the loss it made last year, posting a $9.8 million deficit and cutting staff and clients.

This deficit re-inforces the point I made in late September, that 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.

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 was 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.

Scarce legal aid dollars need to go where they will do some genuine good.

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