Justice must be on the agenda for new PM

The justice system must be a key priority for new prime minister Rishi Sunak, the Law Society of England and Wales said as the new administration enters No 10.

“Our justice system is beset by backlogs and plagued by delays, causing anger and anguish to any who use our courts. Our crumbling court estate is a visual reminder of the damage caused by years of chronic underfunding,” said Law Society president Lubna Shuja.

“We call on the new prime minister to fix our chronically underfunded justice system and commit to implementing the full 15% criminal legal aid rate increase, which was the minimum recommended by Lord Bellamy.

“The Civil Legal Aid Review – which has been on pause since 2018 – must be launched urgently to ensure timely access to justice for all.

“Solicitors are feeling the squeeze of the increasing cost of doing business. The new prime minister must take action to ensure that our professional services sector can not only survive but thrive, and drive growth in our economy.

“Only investment across the entire system will repair the damage. It is essential that Sunak’s government, as an absolute minimum, maintains justice spending and addresses the funding gap which is crushing the system.

“We also urge the UK government to uphold the rule of law. A fresh review of the proposed Bill of Rights Bill is required.

“The bill represents a lurch backwards for British justice and would disempower the British public by the weakening of individual rights and divergence from our international human rights obligations.

“An early commitment from the Sunak administration to axe the bill once and for all and revisit the recommendations made by the Independent Human Rights Act Review would be the first step to securing this goal.

“I look forward to working with Rishi Sunak’s government to drive forward the solicitor profession’s interests and fight for improved access to justice for all.”

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

Press office contact: Naomi Jeffreys | 020 8049 3928

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