Joint message from Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, President of the Law Society and Bill Waddington, Chair of Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association.

  • 11/06/2013

Dear Local Law Society President or Secretary,

May we ask for your help in forwarding this message to your members?

The present intentions of the Lord Chancellor on legal aid are wrong, unworkable and no basis upon which to run a criminal justice system. Quality representation for those charged/investigated with criminal offences would be sacrificed in the hunt for illusory savings. Choice of solicitor will not exist. Defendants would be allocated the next in line or through some other random system, without any thought of who would be the best person to help.

The proposals could result in closure of the great majority of the firms currently supplying these services as the proposals allow for as few as 38 contractors throughout England and Wales.

If the Government gets its way, this proposal could be slipped in through secondary legislation, with no opportunity for Parliament to debate such fundamental changes. In order to try to bring this matter before Parliament, petitions have been established to try to attract the necessary support to at least have the matter considered for Parliamentary debate. This petition is over two thirds the way there. If members, their staff, family, friends who have not already clicked on the link and signed the petition please encourage them to do so. Every signature is important.

Thank you for your support.

Lucy Scott-Moncrieff
Bill Waddington