PRN: As Britain Loses to US in Key International Indicators, is our Legal System the Final Casualty?

30/set/2014 10:01:18 PR Newswire Turismo Contatta l'autore

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As Britain Loses to US in Key International Indicators, is our Legal System the Final Casualty?


LONDON, September 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

A new  infographic compares justice and legal rights of citizens in both nations - and the answers are not what you'd think…. 

Regarded by some across the pond as perhaps a little snooty, but ultimately civilized and progressive, Brits may have once been justified in feeling a little superior to their American counterparts. At the turn of the millennium the UK boasted a National Health Service which was a model for the rest of the world, and a legal system widely regarded as both incorruptible and an example for other nations. In those early days of 21st century Britain, university education was available to all, in most cases for free, obesity wasn't even heard of, and proper funding of public services appeared to reap rewards in the form of low crime rates. There was a general sense of optimism for the future.

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Nearly fifteen years later, a comparison between the US and UK might make for less pleasant reading. Obamacare is finally granting poor US citizens access to state funded medical care, whereas the UK NHS system since the cuts has been widely described as 'broken' or 'failing' by anyone with an opinion on it. University fees in the UK are going the way of the US system where higher education is a luxury, not a right. But perhaps the most surprising changes are happening in our legal system. Police numbers and prison funding have been falling and deep cuts to legal aid are now leaving the most vulnerable people in society unable to access legal representation.  

Britain's justice system is the blueprint for courts in Australia, Canada and the US. International companies choose to enforce billion dollar contracts in London, such is the respect that our courts hold. Meanwhile, the US has traditionally been viewed as having a backward attitude to law and order, with the highest prison population in the world, and a steadfast attachment to the death penalty, which most developed countries have long abandoned.

But as the UK government's funding for legal aid is cut to an all time low, and laws are passed removing key rights of the accused person at trial, is it time to view our own legal system with less reverence?

A comparison of the UK and US legal systems as they stand today is depicted in a thought-provoking infographic and public opinion poll produced by UK law firm Mary Monson Solicitors as part of a worldwide project. The infographic looks at the differences which exist in how the two countries handle eight of the most essential building blocks of the justice system. This includes differences in jury selection, plea-bargaining, what evidence courts can use, and punishment. The reader is asked to take part in the conversation by voting for the country that in his or her opinion does the better job in each area. Then the results of this worldwide poll can be seen as the votes come in and the infographic is updated.

Link to the infographic:

  • Interviews are available with Joseph Kotrie-Monson, Director, Mary Monson Solicitors - +44(0)7815-090988 

Notes for Editors 

Mary Monson Solicitors is a criminal law firm with anti-establishment roots going back to the police abuse scandals of the 1970s. The firm has acted in some of the most controversial criminal trials in modern history, including the Strangeways Prison Riot case, the Manchester and Salford Gang Trials of the 1980s. They recently defended the ring leader of the notorious 'Boiler Suit' Jewellery Robbers, in the biggest ever investigation by the Metropolitan Police 'Flying Squad', and are currently defending in the Royal Household Bribery Case.

Joseph Kotrie-Monson, solicitor and director of the firm, makes regular comment on criminal law, and has commented for BBC TV and Radio, Channel 4 News, the Times, and various justice related publications.

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