26 July, 2005
Legal aid is said to be near breaking point. The legal profession is set for a confrontation and is set to issue a stark warning that the 1.2 billion legal aid scheme is set for collapse. My belief is that legal aid was set up so the poorest could afford legal representation in court. Whether it be criminal or civil. It does seem more and more people are using the legal aid system to their advantage and getting around the legal loop holes that allow them to claim legal aid. To top this off, we now have the legal profession saying that they are under paid and are demanding pay increases for handling legal aid cases. No one has mentioned that in today's climate that we actually do have more crime therefore more criminal cases. The lord chancellor has actually set up a legal aid revue. What comes out of it, no one knows. The legal profession is also worried about this bid for criminal work, it will be like a knife in the wound they say. Neither the legal profession or chancellor would endorse strike action being taken as this would flout the rules on competition. Can you imagine the turmoil if the legal profession went on strike. We already keep thinking up ways of what we think will improve our justice system and to be honest in that department I think we are failing. I believe right at this very minute our justice system is only working at about 60% of its capability. If we still believe in justice for all and that justice is blind then we do have to improve our system, but not at the expense of the individual.