2 Jul 2011

Legal aid clients taking right-to-choose case

7:56 am on 2 July 2011

Some legal aid clients are going to the Court of Appeal over the right to choose their own lawyer.

Since a law change in November, legal aid lawyers have been rotated to defend people against less serious charges in court.

A case against the Government was lost in the High Court in May when Justice Ellis said the complainants' argument overwhelmingly, and without exception, did not stand up.

Lawyers for the group have read the High Court decision as saying that if people receive state help such as legal aid, they can be excluded from a provision contained in the Bill of Rights.

One of them, Tudor Clee, says his clients are upset by that and intend to pursue the case as far as they can, possibly to the United Nations.