New PM takes over at pivotal time for justice
The new prime minister, Liz Truss, will have an opportunity to reset the government’s approach to the rule of law and address the crisis in the justice system, the Law Society of England and Wales said on the announcement of the results of the Conservative Party leadership election.
“We call on the new prime minister to demonstrate a renewed respect for the rule of law at home and with international partners when she takes office,” said Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce.
“The Bill of Rights Bill in particular needs a complete rethink as the current draft represents a lurch backwards for British justice which would disempower people in Britain while giving the state more unfettered authority.”
“Our criminal justice system is facing a make-or-break moment with huge backlogs in the courts delaying justice for victims and defendants, while chronic underfunding is forcing solicitors to leave this area of work in droves and leading to the collapse of our vital network of duty solicitor schemes.
“We call on the PM to immediately implement the minimum 15% criminal legal aid rate increase recommended by Lord Bellamy to ensure the wheels of justice keep turning.
“Investment should be made across the entire justice system, including on court buildings, to ensure timely access to justice is available to all.”
“We are all facing a cost-of-living crisis and it is essential that solicitors are there when individuals and businesses need them to deal with legal and financial challenges caused by spiralling costs,” added I. Stephanie Boyce.
“Solicitors are also feeling the squeeze of increasing costs of doing business – especially professional indemnity insurance hikes – and we call on the new PM to take action to address this and ensure they are there to carry out their vital work on behalf of others.
“We also hope that there will be support for small law firms faced with rising energy costs.”
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: Nick Mayo | 020 8049 4100