I have a law degree but am not a lawyer. I had decided to represent myself in court after being charged with trespass at a protest.
Months before the trial I was arrested for breach of bail and had spent a sleepless night in the cells. I met with a duty solicitor who asked me who was representing me at the trial. When I said that I was representing myself he said “I doubt you have the capacity to understand the complexity of a trespass case.”
He then proceeded to represent me and admit guilt on my behalf in court without my consent.
This experience really made me question the role of lawyers in the criminal justice system.