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By Law Institute Journal

Communication Opinions 

Crimes against efficiency At 70, I run the Carlton Legal Service – a non-aligned, free legal service. Quite frequently I go to court – generally Magistrates’ Courts. The system is neither efficient nor congenial for the irregular legal user. It should be changed. The LIV should make that a priority. One problem is that there are different procedures in different venues in regard to case conferences. The irregular user flounders and is likely to spend more time than regulars – including Victoria Legal Aid. Regular users also appear to get preferential attention. The system appears to be controlled by the police prosecutors. Its operation is not transparent. Today, for example, pro bono I am representing an African taxi driver charged by a PSO with not wearing the correct uniform. The charging papers allege that he was not wearing the Black Cabs uniform. He drives for Silver Top. The PSO told him that the cap he was wearing was not an approved cap. We are in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court seeking withdrawal of the charge.

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