How can the new PM support solicitors and law firms?
1. Respect the rule of law
We call on the new PM to demonstrate a renewed respect for the rule of law at home and with international partners when she takes office.
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.
2. Invest in our underfunded criminal justice system
Our criminal justice system is facing a make-or-break moment with huge backlogs in the courts delaying justice for victims and defendants.
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.
3. Provide cost-of-living support to individuals and business
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.
Solicitors are also feeling the squeeze of increasing costs of doing business – especially professional indemnity insurance hikes.
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.