Clause 1 - Grant of rights to representation
Criminal Defence Service Bill [Lords]
Bridget Prentice (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs; Lewisham East, Labour)
We would like to think that that would be the case, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it is not always so and that it is quite possible for a court under pressure to move a case on to feel that it would be prepared to grant legal aid in order to ensure that a person was properly represented.
That leads me to another reason why I feel obliged to resist the amendment. Handing decision making to the LSC will ensure consistency across the country, and it will also enable us to record that consistency and ensure that we have evidence of the way the system is working. I feel unable to support the amendment, and I ask the Committee to resist it.