Monday, 28 March 2011

Legal aid on the march

Many legal aid lawyers and advice workers joined the TUC march on Saturday to protest at the government plans to cut legal aid and other cuts in publicly funded legal advice services. They were joined by a large contingent of Gurkhas and their families.

The Gurkha Justice Campaign successfully challenged the immigration rules, winning a case in the High Court. It was represented by solicitors Howe and Co, which brought a number of cases on behalf of Gurkhas who had served with the British army using legal aid funds. After a high profile campaign led by actress Joanna Lumley, the government conceded in May 2009 that any Gurkha who had served in the armed forces for four years or more should be allowed to remain in the UK.

The Justice for All and the Law Society's Sound Off for Justice campaigns joined forces on the day and led a march of supporters from the Royal Courts of Justice to join the main march as it made its way through central London to Hyde Park. Young Legal Aid Lawyers with its banner also attended the march. Tooks Chambers and Thompsons solicitors both had their own banners on the march. Sound Off for Justice brought a choir, which was accompanied by two saxophonists. They led marchers in singing protest songs.

Carol Storer, director of the Legal Aid Practitioners Group, was at the demonstration: 'It was a very impressive turn out, with many firms of solicitors represented and a good many Law Centres and other not for profit agencies also attending. People are really concerned about the future of legal aid. Where will our clients go for help if these cuts go ahead?'

Image: LAG. See further pictures here:

1 comment:

IBB Solicitors said...

It is impressive to see so many people coming together to protest these cuts. It will have such a great impact on the legal world and it doesn't seem as though it will happen easily.