31 May 2011

Right-to-choose legal aid case thrown out

6:10 am on 31 May 2011

The High Court has thrown out a case brought by three people who say it is against the Bill of Rights to deny them the right to choose their own legal aid lawyer.

A change was introduced in November which rotates lawyers to defend people on legal aid against less serious charges in court.

Justice Ellis has ruled that her review points overwhelmingly, and without exception, against the complainants' argument.

A lawyer involved with the case, Tudor Clee, says he strongly disagrees and knows that at least one of the plaintiffs will not let the decision lie.

The group is considering whether to proceed to the Court of Appeal, and Mr Clee says the case could go as high as the United Nations Court.