For the first time in 800 years, lawyers have publicly protested by staging a half-day walkout. Why? The short answer is that barristers walked out of court this morning to prevent the government walking all over public justice.
The Bar’s protest – the first in a legal profession that stretches back to the 13th Century – is about the Coalition cuts to legal aid. It is a protest about an attack on legal funding of such severity that it simultaneously threatens access to justice, the quality of representation, and the proper defence of people’s rights.
Let me emphasise: these cuts do not affect the quality of justice enjoyed by those so well off that they can pay for their own lawyers. You won’t find many transnational corporations, Premiership footballers or celebrity chefs suffering from these cuts.But the rights’ protection of many ordinary citizens and particularly the disadvantaged, the marginalised, the…
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