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19/03/2007

A brave decision, Minister

So far it is a bit short of stone throwing confrontations with riot police, but the current actions of our friends in publicly funded legal aid criminal defence are pretty much unprecendented, at least for lawyers. I hope the demo went well.

“What do we want? A reasonable level of public funding for access to justice. When do we want it? As soon as practicable and sustainable arrangements can be put in place that are agreeable to all parties”.

I’m still not sure how self-employed professionals work to rule, but I wish them luck with that too.What Price Justice

Above all, I hope the Law Society has the bottle to challenge the new LSC contract, not just for Criminal but Civil legal aid. So far, the Government has managed to ignore the protests from just about everyone involved in actually doing publicly funded work, or cast it as special pleading by a bunch of self interested fat cats. Something has got to convey to them just how serious this is.

I’m not quite so cynical as to believe that this Government actually wants to dispose of legal aid tout court, but it is getting harder and harder to hold to such a pollyanna-ish point of view.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.

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