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Building the evidence against legal aid cuts

20 January 2014

In this short video clip, Desmond Hudson and president Nicholas Fluck explain that the Law Society's strategy has been to put forward evidence-based arguments to government to show that:

  • legal aid cuts are not going to work
  • the government is taking too big a risk with the working of our criminal justice system

The Law Society jointly commissioned with the MoJ research by Otterburn Legal Consulting and the accountancy firm KPMG to inform the decision as to the approach adopted by government and its practicality, including any issues concerning rural provision and the maximum possible number of duty contracts compatible with long-term financial feasibility.

In the video clip below, Desmond Hudson and Nicholas Fluck emphasise that the independent studies must form the basis for duty contracts. They say that:

  • the Law Society has co-commissioned evidence-based analysis of the market so that we can get the maximum number of contracts for our members

It is implicit in such an approach that the MoJ should only proceed if the independent evidence and analysis gave sufficient reassurance that their proposals would not fundamentally harm the legal aid market and the solicitors practising in it.

We have always been clear that if the reports suggest that the plans pose an unacceptably high risk of market failure, the Society on behalf of its members cannot support the proposals.

Our response to the government's plans, when they are published, will be informed by the independent research.