The crisis in the justice system should light up the inbox of the new justice minister, the Law Society of England and Wales has told the news Brandon Lewis has been appointed Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice.
“Justice and fair play are hallmarks of Britain and traditionally a source of pride for the country. But today they are less recognizable features of our national landscape,” said Law Society Vice President Lubna Shuja.
“Court backlogs mean people wait years for their day in court, their lives in limbo. The new minister has the opportunity to revitalize the system and restore confidence in British justice.
“A vibrant legal aid system is the only way to guarantee everyone equal treatment before the law. But after decades of underfunding and cuts, people can’t get the legal help they need to solve life-altering legal problems.
“The new Minister should start by ensuring that anyone who cannot afford legal aid is eligible for state-funded expert advice – the cost of living crisis makes this change of the resource test more urgent than ever.
“Civil and criminal legal aid lawyers are being forced out of business because government fees have stagnated for more than two decades. The Minister should set pay rates at the level necessary to make the system sustainable so that these essential civil servants can continue to serve the country properly compensated for their expertise and hard work.
“I look forward to working with Brandon Lewis to share the perspectives of our members on the front lines of justice. Lawyers see problems firsthand and early, and they can shed light on workable solutions.
“When we meet we will have a lot more to discuss, from how the new government should rethink the damaging Bill of Rights bill to how lawyers will be a mainstay of support for local communities struggling with the cost of living challenges. crisis.”
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