The London Advocate

Advocate Issue 70

PUBLISHED July 5, 2012

The Olympics are now only days away and I'm sure members will join me in hoping for an exciting and incident-free event, which will make us all proud to be Londoners. LCCSA committee members have already played their part, with past presidents Paul Harris and Malcolm Duxbury both attending a series of meetings with the courts and other bodies to ensure that the criminal justice system rises to any forthcoming challenges.

It is sad that the contribution which defence solicitors make to the well-being of the country is rarely recognised - but, happily, the Law Society has this month celebrated Frankie Goodman - a tireless worker for her community - as an "unsung hero". This is well deserved: congratulations to her. This issue of the Advocate features two others who have spent their careers labouring - often thanklessly - for justice: there is an article by Alured Darlington who, although well past the retiring age, is still an ardent campaigner in the courts. And our interview with our columnist, Bruce Reid, reveals, despite Bruce's self-deprecating manner, a career spent in skilfully representing the poor and inarticulate who find themselves before the Camberwell Green magistrates.

In Bruce's column - and in the president's report - this issue voices its strong concerns about the new Law Society plans for re-accreditation. This is another example of the hurdles being put in the way of the practising solicitor. So often, the combination of hyper supervision and penny-pinching yields worrying results, as can be seen from the insights given in scientist Kerri Allens's article about the effects of dismantling the Forensic Science Service.

Down the track, there will be cries about the miscarriages of justice brought about through poor forensics, inadequate solicitors and not enough time being given in court. Doubtless there will be some LCCSA members still around, ready to make their dogged contribution to putting matters right.