On November 8, owners of criminal legal aid firms met to discuss steps they can take while awaiting the government’s final response to the independent review of criminal legal aid later this this month.
Law Society President Lubna Shuja said: “An escalation in actions by law firm owners is almost inevitable, given the government’s baffling refusal to implement the minimum 15% raise for lawyers. criminal defense recommended by its own examination.”
Lawyers need equality, not empty promises
“The government gave in to the lawyers’ strike but refuses to grant parity to the lawyers who kept the wheels of justice turning during this strike. This irritated and galvanized the legal profession. said Lubna Shuja.
Learn more about the result of the criminal bar strike
“Some criminal lawyers are now considering unionizing to organize direct action. They saw that government does not listen to reason and that direct action works.
“Lawyers are the backbone of the criminal justice system. Without them, it will collapse. They are leaving the profession in droves because they are not being treated fairly and equitably.
If nothing is done to prevent those who remain from leaving:
- court backlogs will continue to grow
- many people will be denied access to justice
- talking about being “tough on crime” will be understood as empty promises
“At the end of the day, it’s a matter of government jurisdiction. Do they have a joint plan to tackle the crisis in the criminal justice system? What we have seen so far suggests they are not doing this and the danger is that trust in the system will be fatally undermined,” Lubna added.
“If the government does not give parity to lawyers when its full response to the review is published later this month, we will make it clear to our members that there is no viable future in the job. legal aid in criminal matters.