*R v Crawley and others

Criminal law – Trial. Following changes to the funding of legal aid in criminal cases, the defendants in a complex fraud trial were unable to obtain representation by counsel. The judge in the Crown Court stayed the proceedings. The Financial Conduct Authority, as prosecuting authority appealed. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, allowed the appeal. To conclude that the state had violated the process of the court or that what had happened had jeopardised the integrity of the criminal justice system (as opposed to its effective operation) was wrong as a matter of principle. Further, on closer analysis, the judge had been wrong to find that there was no realistic prospect of competent advocates with sufficient time to prepare being available in the foreseeable future.

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