Judges Takes On The Government Over Legal Aid And Assange Goes To Sweden

Last week, campaigners urged justice secretary Kenneth Clarke to show legal aid some love. This week, the judiciary had their say on the legal aid green paper. Afua Hirsch reports:

In an unprecedented criticism of government plans to reduce the legal aid budget by £350m, judges have said that removing funding from whole areas of law... would lead to an ""inevitable"" decline in the quality of justice in courts in England and Wales.

Jon Robins has been wading through the responses to the green paper and has decided that he was wrong to give ministers the benefit of the doubt on legal aid.

On Thursday chief magistrate Howard Riddle ruled that Julian Assange should be extradited to Sweden to answer accusations of rape and sexual assault. The judgment, damning in its criticism of Assange's Swedish lawyer, can be read in full here.

This decision will not have surprised many, including Matrix barrister and extradition expert, Julian Knowles. He told Joshua Rozenberg that parts of the defence's case were ""frankly, hopeless"".

Assange appealed to his supporters to challenge the system of European arrest warrants and will be lodging an appeal against the judgment within the next seven days.
The Guardian