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Law Society response to the Commission on Justice in Wales

24 October 2019

A continued openness between Wales and England and recognition of the Welsh justice system’s distinct needs will help secure future success for the sector, the Law Society of England and Wales said today as the Commission on Justice in Wales released their report.

“The Commission has made an important contribution with their vision for the future of the Welsh justice system,” said the head of the Law Society’s Wales office Jonathan Davies.

“As the body of Wales-specific law grows, it is important to consider the distinct needs of the Welsh public and the legal profession as they seek to ensure their businesses remain vibrant and sustainable.”

The Commission’s key recommendation was that justice be devolved to Wales. The report also highlighted the importance of legal services to the Welsh economy.

In 2018, English and Welsh legal services contributed £27.9 billion to the UK economy – 1.4% of GDP.*

“English and Welsh law is widely respected around the world and is one of the UK’s most valuable exports,” said Jonathan Davies.

“Cross-border collaboration is a crucial component of English and Welsh law’s success.

“We are pleased that the recommendations advocate a shared regulator and continued openness across England and Wales – allowing solicitors to gain experience and grow their careers in both nations.”

The report also examined access to justice and the impact of the 2012 legal aid cuts in Wales.

“In Wales, many areas have become advice deserts – with clients having long distances to reach their nearest solicitor,” said Jonathan Davies.

“Legal services are a critical public service and we welcome this recognition of the importance of legal aid funding and access to justice.

“This is a landmark day for the future of justice in Wales. We look forward to working with Welsh government and the Commission on Justice to grow the sector, promote South Wales as a vibrant legal centre and improve access to justice.”

Notes to editors

*The Law Society’s UK-EU future partnership and legal services report shows English and Welsh legal services contributed £27.9 billion to the UK economy – 1.4% of GDP – in 2018.

Read the Commission on Justice’s report

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:Emma Clarke | 020 8049 3743