7th March: Take action
Friday 7 March is a day of protest against legal aid cuts.
Action near you (this page will be updated when more detail is available)
If you know of an action near you please get in touch so we can spread word to others: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet at Manchester Crown Court (Crown Square) at 9.45 am for a demo then at 10.15 am march to the Magistrates’ court. Then on to the Friends Meeting House (6 Mount Street, M2 5NS) until 1 pm to debate the reforms, further action and have training (2 CPD points available!) Speakers on criminal law and civil law including immigration and public law barrister John Nicholson and criminal barrister Barry Grennan of Kenworthy’s Chambers. There will be a lunch break at 12.15 then at 1pm a live link from the Friends Meeting House to the London event.
Please see the poster below.
*NB there are two crown courts in Manchester – the demo is outside the Crown Square court not Minshull Street.
Registration will take place outside Liverpool Crown Court at 9.30am to which everyone is very welcome to show public support against the cuts. Then a joint training session will take place from 10am at the Vaults (John Macs) for solicitors and counsel.
Meet at 10 am at the Magistrates’ court and then march to Crown Court.
Training in the Quaker Meeting House (10 St James’ St, S1 2EW) – details and times of demo and training TBC.
Demonstration outside Leicester Crown Court at 9.30 am.
Join the demo outside Parliament (Old Palace Yard, SW1) at 10 am and hear speakers including Shami Chakrabarti (Liberty), Paddy Hill (Birmingham 6) and Ian Lawrence (NAPO). Then join the march to the Ministry of Justice. Download the poster and flyer about this event at the bottom of this page. Training from 1-4 pm at Methodist central hall.
Tweet your support for Grayling day: #just4justice
What is this all about?
The Government has announced widespread cuts to civil and criminal legal aid on top of cuts brought in from April 2013. Access to justice for all is under threat.
A summary of cuts announced last week is here:
And information about changes to the funding for judicial review (challenging unlawful action by the state and other public bodies) is here:
Criminal lawyers called for further action to protest against the cuts on 7 March. The Criminal Bar Association, Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association and London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association are united in asking members to attend a national “training day” on Friday 7 March. Lawyers will not be available to work on that day. Civil lawyers have also been asked to support the action.
The Chair of the CLSA, Bill Waddington said:
“We are deeply sorry that lawyers individually attending training on the 7th March will cause great inconvenience but as solicitors, supported by our friends at the Bar we cannot stand by and idly watch the Government dismantle the legal aid system in the criminal courts. The present proposals are unnecessary in view of the huge reduction in expenditure on crime caused by a collapse in volume of cases charged and we are dismayed by the stubborn refusal to listen to viable alternatives and proposals put forward by the profession.
The survival of an independent profession is vital for ordinary members of the public who are not wealthy and facing a well-funded state prosecution. Justice should not be the preserve of the well-off but a right for everyone who faces an accusation in an often frightening and confusing criminal Justice system. These proposals threaten access to Justice provided by firms of all sizes in the local community and we will fight them before these essential liberties are taken away under the guise of cost cutting.”
Want to do more? Sign this petition and ask your friends to as well – if we can reach 100k signatures we can get a debate in Parliament:
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