Bar Council publishes response to the ‘Government’s response to the criminal legal aid independent review and consultation on policy proposals’.

The full Bar Council response, published on 1 June 2022, is available here.

Philip Rule of No5 Barristers’ Chambers was pleased to contribute to the Bar Council’s response to the MOJ’s concerning proposal not to increase prison law funding at all. This is despite the difficulties faced by prisoners who have mental health and other vulnerabilities in finding legal advice and representation, and the unfair schemes that penalise practitioners for work done which is not remunerated.

Philip was also able to contribute to the response on the proposals to address the deficit in representation available for those who suffer miscarriages of justice and require the assistance of the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Philip says it is of the utmost importance to the rule of law and equality of justice in our society that the quality of, and availability to access legal advice and representation is guaranteed to those who cannot afford to instruct lawyers on a private basis.

Philip warns that the current action by the Criminal Bar shows that there is no goodwill left that can carry an unfair system,  that inadequately remunerates solicitors and barristers who continue to accept legal aid work. Without them the criminal justice system will not survive, and a pillar of our social and political system will fail, to the disadvantage of all members of society (witnesses, genuine victims, jurors, the wider public and suspects alike).

Philip’s views expressed here are his own.