• Robert Spicer

The envy of the world

In relation to the current storm of dissent over cuts to legal aid, we are repeatedly told that our legal system is the envy of the world and that it is under threat. My own view is that this argument does nothing to resist government policies which will make it even harder for poor people to obtain justice.

Why should the world envy our legal system? Is it because the legal profession operates such restrictive practices that only a tiny minority of privileged candidates can ever hope to gain entry?

Perhaps because many claimants with strong cases have never been able to obtain justice because they cannot afford lawyers’ fees?

Or maybe because law centres are struggling to survive?

Perhaps because our adversarial system often fails to disclose truth and depends upon the skill of advocates trained in the art of destructive cross-examination?

Or the way in which child witnesses are treated in court?

The list goes on and on…

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