25 July 2010

Murderous Legal Aid Cuts

Kenneth Clarke's plans to cut legal aid are well known from reports such as,

"Kenneth Clarke to slash Legal Aid budget"

The story from the Telegraph, 16th July 2010, explains that,

"Officials working for Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, have drawn up plans to cut “hundreds of millions” of pounds from the £2.2 billion budget for Legal Aid."

A recent post from Mindhacks, "How murder fell out of fashion with the rich:" says,

"Murder has become largely confined to the poor and disadvantaged whereas historical records show that in times gone past it was used equally by all levels of society."

The paper referenced by Mindhacks asks and answers the following question,

"Why is homicide largely confined to low status people today but was not in the societies studied by anthropologists and historians? Why has elite homicide declined? The answer developed here builds on a theory advanced by Donald Black (1983), which argues that violent conflict is a function of the unavailability of law."

I wonder if the "unavailability of law" that results from these legal aid cuts will result in a rise in the UK murder rate over the next few years?

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