• Sundeep Bhatia

Protect the right to a solicitor at the Police Station

Dear Mr Hurd I write both as a Resident and business owner in Pinner.I am a solicitor who has specialized in the field of criminal defence work for 17 years and who has given up his weekends,sleep and holidays in order to protect the rights of those accused of criminal offences.

I am also a Law Society Council member and the immediate past chair of The Society of Asian Lawyers.

Some of my clients over the years have been suffering from mental health conditions,others are very young.Many have been subject to physical or mental abuse. The vast majority are terrified.Indeed Police stations are terrifying places where the only comfort for anyone accused of a crime,whether innocent or guilty,is a criminal defence lawyer to protect their rights.

Currently ,in circumstances where police intend to interview suspects they are entitled to the services of a criminal defence solicitor at the expense of the state.This is a right which has been provided to those arrested since the mid 1980s .

I am therefore horrified to learn that the Lord Chancellor Kenneth Clarke intends to table a motion tomorrow recommending that the UK should not be bound by a proposal for an EU directive on right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings.

I write,not out of self interest,but on account of genuine concerns for the civil liberties of citizens in this country. I would therefore urge you to read the briefing on the subject by the Law Society via the following link.

http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/new/documents/2011/eu-individual-rights.pdf

I would further urge you not to support The Lord Chancellor’s motion Yours sincerely

Sundeep Bhatia Beaumonde Law Practice 107 Evans House Marsh Road Pinner Middlesex HA5 5PA 02088681614 07803727534

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