Access to justice

The Law Society at Labour and Liberal Democrat conferences

    The Law Society is attending this year's party conferences to discuss the following priorities with key stakeholders:
  • maintaining the attractiveness of the legal jurisdiction after Brexit
  • making the legal system available to all
  • ensuring the UK leads the way on new technology

Read our policy recommendations for 2018 (PDF 665kb)

Labour Conference

The vice president and public affairs team attended the Labour Conference in Liverpool.

  • The Law Society’s work on access to justice featured heavily in ‘The Future of Justice’ fringe event jointly hosted by the Law Society, the Bar Council and the Society of Labour Lawyers on the Sunday of Conference.
  • Shadow Lord Chancellor Richard Burgon MP supported our call for a review of the sustainability of the criminal legal aid system and used many of our access to justice campaign’s arguments in his speech.
  • Shadow Solicitor General Nick Thomas-Symonds MP argued that the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill would have a huge impact on the right to confidential advice and lawyer-client privilege and noted that the Law Society have raised this issue.
    Read his article echoing our concerns on the Bill.  
  • The Law Society also hosted a private dinner for key stakeholders in the legal sector on the Sunday. The dinner was attended by five MPs including the Opposition front bench, and a frank and supportive discussion took place on issues in the justice sector, including around regulation, the criminal justice system, access to justice, AI and technology, and the impact of Brexit on the legal services sector.
  • Law Society vice president Simon Davis warned about the impact of declining economic activity on the legal and financial services sector when the UK leaves the EU at a fringe event on Brexit and financial services on Monday morning.
  • Law Society vice president Simon Davis highlighted underfunding in the criminal justice system and shared research by the Law Society on the looming crisis in the numbers of criminal duty solicitors at a reception for young Labour lawyers.
  • Concerns on the court modernisation programme were shared by leading stakeholders in the justice system at a fringe event organised by JUSTICE and the Society of Labour Lawyers and co-hosted by the Law Society.

Liberal Democrat Conference

The Law Society's deputy vice president and public affairs team also attended the Liberal Democrat Conference in Brighton.

  • The deputy vice president spoke at a panel event on Brexit and its impact on justice and the legal profession on Monday 17 September. The other panellists were James Sandbach, Co-Chair of Rights-Liberties-Justice (Lib Dem Lawyers Association); Baroness Ludford, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Brexit; Rhodri Thompson QC, Matrix Chambers; and Ruvi Ziegler, Associate Professor at the University of Reading.
  • The deputy vice president outlined the main effects of Brexit on the legal profession, including our concerns on the future relationship White Paper, the technical notice on judicial co-operation and the effects of no deal.

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