Do changes to the structure and level of legal aid payments significantly affect the trajectories of criminal cases? Do these changes make a difference to how defence lawyers handle cases, how they negotiate with prosecutors and how clients are advised to plead? In recent years, Scotland has made major changes to the remuneration structures for criminal defence work. This paper reports on a research study examining the impact of one of these changes: the move to 'fixed payments'. It seeks to contribute to international knowledge about the relationship between legal aid payment regimes and criminal case trajectories. Furthermore, are there any important consequences for clients, or, are changes simply absorbed by lawyers, or neutralised by other developments? The paper explains that the objective of the fixed payments policy (to encourage greater 'efficiency' in the criminal process) was contradicted by other consequences, which were unexpected by the architects of the policy.
|Title of host publication||Transforming lives|
|Subtitle of host publication||Law and social process|
|Editors||P. Pleasence, A. Buck, N. Balmer|
|Place of Publication||UK|
|Number of pages||25|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|
- legal aid
- social law
Tata, C., & Stephen, F. (2007). When paying the piper gets the 'wrong' tune: the impact of fixed payments on case management, case trajectories and 'quality' in criminal defence work. In P. Pleasence, A. Buck, & N. Balmer (Eds.), Transforming lives: Law and social process (pp. 186-210). UK.