Pragmatic Justice: At Any Cost?
Plea negotiations have a long history. However, modern forms of negotiation take place in an ideologically different context with an increasing emphasis on economy and efficiency. Changes in the way governments fund legal services are occurring in many jurisdictions with significant implications for procedural and substantive justice, including a dramatic increase in unrepresented defendants and defendants presenting with some degree of mental impairment (and associated high levels of alcohol and drug use). This chapter examines the prevalence and implications of resourcing constraints in the context of plea negotiations, with a specific focus on unrepresented defendants and defendants presenting with mental health concerns.
KeywordsGuilty plea Pressure Mental illness Mental impairment Resources Legal aid Plea bargaining Plea negotiations
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