Legal Aid


PUBLISHED September 25, 2013

On the morning of 22 May, over 1,000 barristers, solicitors and others assembled in Old Palace Yard, opposite Parliament. A jazz band played, placards were carried and Lady Justice stood in mourning as a coffin was carried aloft ? proclaiming the death of legal aid.

It was a superb spectacle and drew the attention of national journalists, as well as the public, many of whom hooted their support as they drove past.

Greg Foxsmith, sporting collar and bands over a "Save UK Justice? T-shirt, was a masterful chairman, introducing a string of speakers, which included Dave Rowntree (Blur?s drummer and also a solicitor), Sadiq Khan MP, Gerry Conlan (one of the Guildford 4), Helena Kennedy QC, Jeremy Corbyn MP and John Cooper QC.The death of Justice

Every speaker pointed out the fall in quality of representation that would follow the enactment of Transforming Legal Aid. Courtenay Griffiths QC warned that "young black defendants, represented by production-line lawyers, will become even more disengaged from our society?.

One of the most striking contributions came from the family of Jean-Charles de Menezes, who said that, had Grayling?s proposals been enacted when Jean- Charles was shot, his Brazilian relatives would not have been represented and the truth would never have been uncovered.

The demo ended with Greg Foxsmith asking whether Chris Grayling was guilty or not guilty on an indictment which alleged that he was attempting to murder legal aid. The unanimous verdict was"Guilty!?