Barristers rubbish Public Defender Service

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By Alex Aldridge on

A bin at Cardiff Crown Court has felt the full force of barristers’ dislike for the much-maligned Public Defender Service (PDS).

The side of the bin was also decorated.

Negative feelings towards the PDS are running high after it was claimed that the Ministry of Justice is planning to bulk it up “as a way of breaking the dispute with advocates over fees”.

Founded in 2001 as a pilot, the PDS has offices in Cheltenham, Darlington, Pontypridd and Swansea, having closed four other offices in 2007. Research conducted that year found the PDS to be one and a half to two times as expensive as private practice. Last month criminal barrister and Liberal Democrat peer Lord Carlile labelled it a “total waste of public money”.