Joint statement from Jon Black and Bill Waddington.
These days few people provide services as a legal aid solicitor or barrister unless they are passionate about access to justice and the rule of law. The purpose of our action is to ensure that we can provide a quality service to those entitled to publicly funded representation from the police station and magistrates courts through to the crown court and beyond. The solicitors who have participated in the action over the past fortnight have shown that they have been prepared to make huge sacrifices in order to demonstrate that the cuts are simply inequitable, unsustainable and wrong. The most recent Legal Aid spend figures prove this to be the case.
We now welcome the Criminal Bar who, have formally voted to take direct action against the cuts which they recognise have a direct effect on their ability to provide a quality service. We would hope that ultimately we can sit down together as a united force and ensure that the Lord Chancellor will listen to the solicitors and barristers, who have traditionally formed formidable teams at the heart of the criminal justice system.