Jul 9th, 2013
Legal Aid – Great news!
By Rupal Vaja
Great news! We’ve won our campaign to stop justice secretary Chris Grayling from taking away people’s right to choose a lawyer when on legal aid! If Grayling’s plans had gone ahead, people would be represented based on price and not choice.
On Wednesday he confirmed this change in parliament, saying he expected to make changes that would allow a choice of lawyer in the future. This comes after months of campaigning from 38 Degrees, Citizens Advice Bureau, Liberty, the Bar Council and more, to get the justice department to drop these plans.
Since the campaign started in May over 50,000 38 Degrees members signed the online petition and handed it into a round of applause from the audience at a ministry of justice event.
Over 10, 000 of us wrote into the consultation, telling the justice department exactly why these proposals were wrong. The issue itself gathered more momentum as a number of organisations, like the Citizens Advice Bureau, Liberty, and Save UK Justice, campaigned tirelessly and constant press coverage kept the ball rolling.
This week is a victory for us and the UK legal system. But the justice secretary has shown that he’s determined to cut our legal system. We need to keep our eyes peeled to be prepared to fight future proposals made by the Justice Secretary.
The campaign was started on Campaigns By You by the chairman of the Bar Council. The Campaigns by You site where members can start their own campaigns on issues which matter to them. Campaigns like this show how effective campaigns are so if you feel strongly about something in your area, please get in touch via the Campaigns by You platform.