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Legal Services Commission's blunder re Legal Aid - The actual letter ++PLUS++ Carter-Ruck's 'To Whom it May Concern' Letter Mm11

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Legal Services Commission's blunder re Legal Aid - The actual letter ++PLUS++ Carter-Ruck's 'To Whom it May Concern' Letter

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Post by Tony Bennett on 23.08.12 17:52

First part of the Legal Services Commission's letter of 17 August (verbatim) in which they admitted their latest blunder about the law on potential eligibilty for Legal Aid.

The Carter-Ruck 'To Whom it May Concern' letter follows in the next posting:



Our Ref: SA/BEN/134533

17 August 2012

Dear Mr Bennett,

Your Complaint

Thank you for your emails of 12 and 14 August 2012 addressed to our Chief Executive, Matthew Coats.

Mr Coats has seen your emails and has instructed this team to respond on his behalf.

For ease of reference I have responded to the issues you have raised under separate headings.

Contempt of Court proceedings

Having sought advice from our Legal Team our understanding of the position is as follows.

A breach of a court injunction is a contempt of court. In the High Court, civil legal aid may be applied for by an individual who is financially eligible. The Lord Chancellor’s direction specifically allows the Legal Services Commission (LSC) to fund a case which would otherwise be out of scope (e.g. a personal injury case, a business case or a defamation case) where the liberty of the individual is at stake. Paragraph 12 of the Lord Chancellor’s direction provides, “The Lord Chancellor authorises the Commission to fund excluded services in Legal Representation in relation to hearings at which the liberty of the client is in issue.”. An individual simply has to be financially eligible for legal aid to benefit from this part of the Lord Chancellor’s direction.

I understand that some of the legal aid solicitors you contacted have referred to s12(2)(f) of the Access to Justice Act 1999. This section provides, “(2) in the Part, “criminal proceedings” means (f) proceedings for contempt committed, or alleged to have been committed, by an individual in the face of a court.” This provision only allows a judge to grant legal aid in circumstances where there is a contempt “in the face of the court”, (usually, when there is an act of abuse or violence by a party or a witness towards another person or the bench). A contempt in the face of the court is a ‘criminal contempt’, and the Access to Justice Act allows a judge to grant immediate representation so that any lawyer in the building can represent the individual, take instructions and put forward mitigation, so that if the individual is committed for his contempt, they will have been given the opportunity to be properly represented.

A breach of an injunction is therefore not a contempt in the face of the court, and so s12(2)(f) of the Access to Justice Act is not engaged. The party accused of breaching an injunction may be entitled to civil legal aid if he/she is financially eligible and where the applicant’s liberty is at risk.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the incorrect information we had previously provided. Feedback with [sic] be provided to the relevant departments and staff to ensure this does not happen again.


[REST SNIPPED...]

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by Guest on 23.08.12 19:01

Carter-Ruck's 'To Whom It May Concern' letter to Tony Bennett, 8 August 2012

Legal Services Commission's blunder re Legal Aid - The actual letter ++PLUS++ Carter-Ruck's 'To Whom it May Concern' Letter Cr_let11


ADDITIONAL NOTE FROM TONY BENNETT:

"I do not criticise Carter-Ruck for composing this letter. Far from it, it was a genuine attempt by them to move these proceedings forward. Both myself and Carter-Ruck thought it would work. It is unfortunate, of course, that Carter-Ruck got the position on Criminal Legal Aid wrong, just as the Legal Services Commission had also done.

"This may illustrate the whole problem - to anyone looking at this thread who may be wondering why, nearly 9 months on, I have not been successful in finding a Legal Aid lawyer to represent me. Very very few solicitors' firms appear to have what is called a 'Legal Services Contract' to provide representation in civil contempt cases. Almost none of these have any real knowledge of libel law, hence their inability to represent me.

"But both the European and British courts have long insisted that (a) a person facing prison must be legally represented and (b) be provided with full equality of arms. Otherwise it would not be a fair trial within the meaning of Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights. Therefore I must continue to seek a Legal Aid solicitor, as there is no way I can match Carter-Ruck's legal firepower from my own resources. They had already clocked up 'well over £120,000' in legal expenses by April".
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Post by roy rovers on 23.08.12 21:40

Although it is delaying the trial which may allow something to come out of the woodwork which helps your case - whilst this is dragging on they have effectively gagged you which is a violation of your human right to free expression.
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Post by Tony Bennett on 23.08.12 22:01

@roy rovers wrote:...whilst this is dragging on they have effectively gagged you, which is a violation of your human right to free expression.
Yes, 'roy rovers', they have succeeded in this, and for nearly 9 months. I may have made the odd post about Murat, Antonio Giminez Raso and so on, all factual, so there should be no issue about any of that, but as an individual I have been silenced insofar as - until my trial is over - I am in effect unable to comment directly on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Whilst hundreds on here, and thousands elsewhere, are wholly free to do so.

Not to mention people all over Europe being able to buy, read, recycle and debate 'The Truth About A Lie'...

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by justathought on 24.08.12 20:12

@admin wrote:Carter-Ruck's 'To Whom It May Concern' letter to Tony Bennett, 8 August 2012

Legal Services Commission's blunder re Legal Aid - The actual letter ++PLUS++ Carter-Ruck's 'To Whom it May Concern' Letter Cr_let11


ADDITIONAL NOTE FROM TONY BENNETT:

"I do not criticise Carter-Ruck for composing this letter. Far from it, it was a genuine attempt by them to move these proceedings forward. Both myself and Carter-Ruck thought it would work. It is unfortunate, of course, that Carter-Ruck got the position on Criminal Legal Aid wrong, just as the Legal Services Commission had also done.

"This may illustrate the whole problem - to anyone looking at this thread who may be wondering why, nearly 9 months on, I have not been successful in finding a Legal Aid lawyer to represent me. Very very few solicitors' firms appear to have what is called a 'Legal Services Contract' to provide representation in civil contempt cases. Almost none of these have any real knowledge of libel law, hence their inability to represent me.

"But both the European and British courts have long insisted that (a) a person facing prison must be legally represented and (b) be provided with full equality of arms. Otherwise it would not be a fair trial within the meaning of Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights. Therefore I must continue to seek a Legal Aid solicitor, as there is no way I can match Carter-Ruck's legal firepower from my own resources. They had already clocked up 'well over £120,000' in legal expenses by April".

Mr Bennett
"Both myself and Carter-Ruck thought it would work." Your comment can be read two ways. either you asked them to send the letter or they sent the letter unsolicited and by coincidence you had the same thought process.
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Post by Tony Bennett on 24.08.12 21:49

@justathought wrote:"Both myself and Carter-Ruck thought it would work." Your comment can be read two ways. either you asked them to send the letter or they sent the letter unsolicited and by coincidence you had the same thought process.
OK.

Carter-Ruck came up with the idea out of the blue and sent it to me on 8 August. I had absolutely no input into that letter, and no idea that anything like that was on its way.

When I received it, I recognised it as a practical attempt to move things forward.

That is all.

It's a pity that both they and the Legal Services Commission were wrong in saying that I was entitled to Criminal instead of Civil Legal Aid.

It watsed a lot of time and effort.

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by justathought on 24.08.12 21:58

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@justathought wrote:"Both myself and Carter-Ruck thought it would work." Your comment can be read two ways. either you asked them to send the letter or they sent the letter unsolicited and by coincidence you had the same thought process.
OK.

Carter-Ruck came up with the idea out of the blue and sent it to me on 8 August. I had absolutely no input into that letter, and no idea that anything like that was on its way.

When I received it, I recognised it as a practical attempt to move things forward.

That is all.

It's a pity that both they and the Legal Services Commission were wrong in saying that I was entitled to Criminal instead of Civil Legal Aid.

It watsed a lot of time and effort.

Mr Bennett
Thank you for clarifying. as at first reading the comment you made hinted that you may have been in cahoots with CR to get it sent to you. i sincerely feel for you, whether you are guilty or not. as to the mental anguish you have been put through by a lack of decision and now a decision given in your favour only to be overturned.
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Post by Tony Bennett on 24.08.12 22:07

@justathought wrote:Mr Bennett
Thank you for clarifying. as at first reading the comment you made hinted that you may have been in cahoots with CR to get it sent to you. I sincerely feel for you, whether you are guilty or not, as to the mental anguish you have been put through by a lack of decision and now a decision given in your favour only to be overturned.
'justathought', some people, allegedly of the same mind as me re Madeleine, have also suggested (for reasons that I could never fathom) that I was 'in cahoots with the McCanns'. Don't ask me why, ask them.

The McCanns and Carter-Ruck are bitter and determined opponents of me. That doesn't mean that we cannot recognise times when the 'other side' is being reasonable and constructive on certain points.

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by justathought on 25.08.12 18:26

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@justathought wrote:Mr Bennett
Thank you for clarifying. as at first reading the comment you made hinted that you may have been in cahoots with CR to get it sent to you. I sincerely feel for you, whether you are guilty or not, as to the mental anguish you have been put through by a lack of decision and now a decision given in your favour only to be overturned.
'justathought', some people, allegedly of the same mind as me re Madeleine, have also suggested (for reasons that I could never fathom) that I was 'in cahoots with the McCanns'. Don't ask me why, ask them.

The McCanns and Carter-Ruck are bitter and determined opponents of me. That doesn't mean that we cannot recognise times when the 'other side' is being reasonable and constructive on certain points.

Mr Bennett

I think you are in cahoots with no one and CR were well intended in sending letter. although strange it seemed to preempt official LSC confirmation. they may have ulterior motives for trying to assist you but as you say they were being reasonable and constructive in their actions.

as to the "final" decision made by the LSC. can you ask for it to be reviewed? if not an option, how far do you wish to follow up the shoddy treatment accorded you. a starting point would be for your MP to ask pertinent questions of the Minister in charge of LSC. he is there to represent you and whatever his or your views as to the madeleine case. they are irrelevant as to the issue of your poor treatment
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Post by PeterMac on 25.08.12 23:34

@Tony Bennett wrote: SNIP It's a pity that both they and the Legal Services Commission were wrong in saying that I was entitled to Criminal instead of Civil Legal Aid.
It watsed a lot of time and effort.
1 Was this entirely a coincidence ?
2 If so, are both Carter-Ruck AND the Legal Services Commission guilty of exactly the same error caused by their own independent negligence and incompetence.
3 Is any member of the firm Carter-Ruck a member of any club, dining or otherwise, of which a member of the Legal Services Commission is also a member ?

I only ask ?
Coincidence is a strange animal.

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Post by justathought on 26.08.12 0:18

@PeterMac wrote:
@Tony Bennett wrote: SNIP It's a pity that both they and the Legal Services Commission were wrong in saying that I was entitled to Criminal instead of Civil Legal Aid.
It watsed a lot of time and effort.
1 Was this entirely a coincidence ?
2 If so, are both Carter-Ruck AND the Legal Services Commission guilty of exactly the same error caused by their own independent negligence and incompetence.
3 Is any member of the firm Carter-Ruck a member of any club, dining or otherwise, of which a member of the Legal Services Commission is also a member ?

I only ask ?
Coincidence is a strange animal.

PeterMac

Re 2) CR may have made an error, but they are not representing mr bennett and there actions seem genuine. the more pertinent question is what made CR think that a definitive decision had been made.

Re 3) big coincidence, maybe they just believed what they read on here at the time. as being authentic.
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Post by Angelique on 26.08.12 0:41


PeterMac wrote:
Tony Bennett wrote:
SNIP It's a pity that both they and the Legal Services Commission were wrong in saying that I was entitled to Criminal instead of Civil Legal Aid.
It watsed a lot of time and effort.

1 Was this entirely a coincidence ?
2 If so, are both Carter-Ruck AND the Legal Services Commission guilty of exactly the same error caused by their own independent negligence and incompetence. 
3 Is any member of the firm Carter-Ruck a member of any club, dining or otherwise, of which a member of the Legal Services Commission is also a member ?

I only ask ?
Coincidence is a strange animal.
----------------------------------------

Call me superstitious but I totally agree with PM. 

I think I have mentioned it before but I would treat everything and anything emanating from CR as unreliable as regards advice to an opponent. They are always acting in their Cleints best interest even if it seams they are appearing to help. 

There is always a motive.
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Post by jd on 26.08.12 0:51

I would not trust CR as far as I could throw them. They don't come onto this forum to gather information, they come on here to search for anything to help their client. Fullstop. Unless you are one of their clients, I am highly suspicious of any of their actions and take everything they do with absolute caution
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Post by aiyoyo on 26.08.12 5:29

If no answer can be had to the pertinent question as to why CR would want to help TB or be concerned about TB one way or another, then their letter (even if seemingly constructive) isn't so much about helping TB but about helping their client speed up the case for their own reasons.

The two-day difference between CR's letter of 8 Aug and LSC's junior staff Jemma informing TB of that decision (same position as CR) by phone on 10 Aug (not in print and coming after 8 months of procrastination) is either a freaky coincidence or something else no one will ever know.









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Post by justathought on 26.08.12 19:07

@aiyoyo wrote:If no answer can be had to the pertinent question as to why CR would want to help TB or be concerned about TB one way or another, then their letter (even if seemingly constructive) isn't so much about helping TB but about helping their client speed up the case for their own reasons.

The two-day difference between CR's letter of 8 Aug and LSC's junior staff Jemma informing TB of that decision (same position as CR) by phone on 10 Aug (not in print and coming after 8 months of procrastination) is either a freaky coincidence or something else no one will ever know.

Aiyoyo

No doubt CR's reason for sending the letter was to speed up the case. as the coincidence of the prompt sending of the letter by them. they will reveal nothing. but Mr Bennett may well be able to gain an insight as to what transpired. by requesting an internal review at LSC as to their handling of the case.







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Post by justathought on 28.08.12 19:31

Mr Bennett
The recent statements by Commissioner B-H-H and the result of the forthcoming libel trial, may work in your favour if your case drags on. as unpleasant as the waiting might be for you. if the Amaral result is favourable and the SY Enquiry is wrapped up by Christmas, with no final outcome. then far better than your trial being against the backdrop, that the MCCanns are the completely innocent party. and that a continued SY investigation was trying to prove this
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Post by Tony Bennett on 28.08.12 22:31

@justathought wrote:Mr Bennett
The recent statements by Commissioner B-H-H and the result of the forthcoming libel trial, may work in your favour if your case drags on. as unpleasant as the waiting might be for you. if the Amaral result is favourable and the SY Enquiry is wrapped up by Christmas, with no final outcome. then far better than your trial being against the backdrop, that the MCCanns are the completely innocent party. and that a continued SY investigation was trying to prove this
Yes, thank you, you may have a point. I can't personally see how the Met Police can halt their review, they have emphasised the critical importance of analysing, FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME, as Redwood proudly (almost smugly) trumpeted to the nation, all the files from the Portuguese Police, Leicestershire Police and the McCanns' private investigations. However, they are only 35.8% through this vast exercise. How can they stop with 64.2% of the job left to do? As for Dr Amaral's trial, who knows when it will be? I have put up a question about this on another section of the forum...but no-one seems to know. Will it be postponed again?

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Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by justathought on 28.08.12 23:21

Mr Bennett
When I previously conversed with you in my ignorance i forgot the on-going restrictions that are imposed on you. my mentioning the cot positions in the bedroom being a case in point. so i do not wish to discuss anything here that might work against you or cause you to print something in reply you regret.
as to the SY investigation there has been a big and abrupt change in direction.
as to the trial date. am sure that a contributor on here from Portugal can oblige. if not i will try to help

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Post by Tony Bennett on 29.08.12 8:25

@justathought wrote:as to the SY investigation there has been a big and abrupt change in direction.

REPLY: It almost sounds as though you might have some inside information, I am not aware myself that there has been such a change, though maybe Bernard Hogan-Howe has seen through all the 'spin' and is not willing - unlike his supine predecessor Stephenson - to bow the knee at the command of Rebekah Brooks

as to the trial date, I am sure that a contributor on here from Portugal can oblige, if not I will try to help

REPLY: Thank you, I don't think it will be easy to find the trial date, but if you do find it out, and IF I can find a Portuguese-English translator to accompany me, I may well go over there for the whole trial. After all, it will be one of the great 'FREE SPEECH' trials of the 21st century...and a case, ironically, brought by someone who swore to the Leveson enquiry on oath that he was 'a great supporter of the freedom of speech'

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Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by tigger on 29.08.12 9:09

It just occurred to me that GM in the Leveson did say 'purport' in relation to having no objection to 'purporting theories'. The word he is looking for is 'propound' or something with a similar meaning I take it.
Unless:
Putting forward false or inaccurate theories that are 'purported' to be the truth is something that GM has no problems with, according to his statement.

In addition to that he is strongly in favour of free speech.

Either an expensively educated consultant of the NHS is not conversant with the meaning of the word 'purport', which I would like to think highly unlikely, or he is of the opinion I stated above. You can say what you like, he doesn't mind.

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Post by ShuBob on 29.08.12 20:23

Tony, in response to your question a poster called "Laura 62" on the MCF forum has posted tonight that the McCann case was discussed by Moita Flores and Paulo Sargento today on Portuguese TV and Sargento stated that the McCanns' case against Amaral consisting four sessions is due to start on the 13th of September.
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