Sunday, September 14, 2008

They're All About The Justice

Something to remember next time you see some lawyer in the MSM waxing pious about justice.

Apparently, bombs going off, kids being murdered and industry being choked to death are all prices well worth paying for justice!, but low fees? That's just crazy talk!

Personally, I'm just glad no one in private industry is talking about letting murderers off the hook just to protect profits, otherwise liberals would be calling for air strikes. It's not even as if we're talking low wages in any sense that an Earth person would use it. Check out the figures:
under the new rates top Queen’s Counsel were on preparation rates (for work leading up to trial) of £91 an hour... a barrister would pocket about half of that after paying overheads, expenses, tax and so on.
Let us move smoothly past the humbuggery of liberals complaining about the cost of taxation, and consider this: preparation work - isn't that kind of like paying Dame Judi Dench for learning her lines? But still, for the sake of this ludicrous argument let's specify that for some reason our hypothetical QC never does anything other than preparatory work. He's still taking home an after-tax income of £3640 per week. Hey, in some parts of the country that's not considered a bad wage.

Of course, no one does only preparatory work:
For a day in court the rates range from £285 to £476 [per hour] for a top QC.
Just in case you're keeping track at home, that means an eight hour day earns scores them £3880.

At this point it's worth contrasting the legal profession with another well-subsidised group. Liberals hate, hate, HATE! farm subsidies, but look what the quid pro quo is: farmers are faced with everything from environmental regulations to production quotas. Meanwhile, lawyers bleed the taxpayer dry and claim it's just the free market in action.

Ditto, I'm pretty sure drilling thousands of metres into the Earth's crust to extract volatile hydrocarbons is not a simple task, but the same liberals who demand windfall taxes for energy companies would never dream of the same punitive measures being applied to lawyers.

Still, it's hard to have much sympathy for the government. Not only has the government's habit of outsourcing law making to the courts helped bloat the budget in the first place, it's also emboldened these people to the point where they feel they can strong arm a democratically-elected government into acting as a giant ATM.

In this, as in so many other areas, Parliament has utterly failed to live up to its role of acting as a check and balance on the power of the courts. Just to give two examples of what needs to be done, Parliament could remove the ability of lawyers to pervert the public debate by forcing lawyers to identify themselves as such when they appear in the media, instead of allowing them to pass themselves off as 'concerned citizens' or such like, and they could remove the ability of lawyers to choke off public criticism with libel suits.

After all, these are the folks who insist that the medical profession, the police and the Army can't be trusted and so they must be subject to having their actions picked over by the courts years after the fact. How come criticism of the legal system is subject to review by the self-same courts? Aren't these the folks who issue teary declarations about the importance of independent tribunals?

There are plenty of other measures that could be done, but all of them rely on our elected representatives being reunited with their spines, so I guess we may as well resign ourselves to ever more money going to lawyers. Still, in so far as these people would let murders go free just to make their point, could the MSM at least stop portraying them as guardians of justice?

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