Labour would restore Legal Aid and a ‘proper legal system’ vows Corbyn

Last Updated: November 4, 2015By


If meetings of this kind are keeping Jeremy Corbyn from speaking to the CBI, then he has made the right choice.

Corbyn has attended the legal aid forum to promise young lawyers that Labour will restore the Legal Aid system and ensure that justice is once again available to everybody in the UK, rather than just those who are very rich.

Perhaps former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who was apparently sacked for opposing the Legal Aid cuts imposed by Chris Grayling, might consider crossing the floor of the House of Commons in support?

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged young lawyers to ‘stick it out’ in legal aid rather than retrain in another area of law or leave the profession altogether.

Speaking at the legal aid forum, the Labour leader said he often gets law students asking him for work experience who want to specialise in family, criminal, or immigration law.

‘How are you going to do that, I ask. And they reply, “Well it’s a real problem”,’ said Corbyn. ‘They know the problems of funding it. Most of them end up saying they will do commercial law. That means we have fewer qualified people doing things. And the number of solicitors firms that close because of legal aid cuts means there are whole swathes of the country without any legal aid work.’

Speaking exclusively to Solicitors Journal following a barnstorming address to the gathering of legal professionals, the leader of the opposition said the government’s reforms to the justice system meant firms were pulling out of legal aid to concentrate on more lucrative practice areas, to the detriment of young practitioners.

‘At the moment a lot of lawyers feel they can’t be dealing with legal aid, they have to find something else to do, hence the number of firms that don’t want to get involved in legal aid or just do commercial law because that is the only way they can make a living. It is not good for anyone. We need a proper legal system,’ said Corbyn.

‘It is a deterrent for young people going into law in the future, so we end up with young lawyers not being able to work,’ he continued. ‘If you can, stick at it. Try and stay there because people need good lawyers. They need that representation. I want to see the restoration of legal aid in the new parliament and hopefully we will have a Labour majority to bring it about.’

Source: Exclusive: Jeremy Corbyn urges young lawyers to fight on for legal aid | Solicitors Journal

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  1. Dez November 4, 2015 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Excellent starter for 10. Good also that the main man is actually prepared to go out and meet key folk and get to the grass roots of this real problem and actually state that he is on-side.

  2. mili68 November 4, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Tweeted @melissacade68

  3. Jenny Hambidge November 4, 2015 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Exellent work, Jeremy and thanks to Mike for bringing it to our attention. The amount of reports of Jeremy’s activities is underwhelming.

  4. hayfords November 4, 2015 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    We have the most expensive legal system in the EU at around five times as much as some countries. We also have one of the most expensive systems in the world. It is about time it was cut.

    • Mike Sivier November 4, 2015 at 2:04 pm - Reply

      Oh, so you’re admitting you think justice should only be available to those who can afford to pay for the verdict they want?

    • Joanna November 4, 2015 at 7:21 pm - Reply

      Hayfords, let us all hope that You are never accused of a crime you never committed, and that if you are then let us hope you would have legal representation!!!! Or not!!!

      • hayfords November 4, 2015 at 11:02 pm - Reply

        It is not about legal to defend yourself when accused of a crime. That is just a red herring. Having someone to defend you is an automatic right in the case of a crime. The cuts are largely to do with cases where the litigant should fund it. Of course the barrister and solicitors are complaining as the gravy train is coming to an end.

        • Mike Sivier November 5, 2015 at 12:08 pm - Reply

          The cuts to which you refer are largely to do with civil cases in which legal aid is vital for the poorer of the parties – otherwise they will be denied the ability to defend themselves and the richer party will win every time.
          Is that what you want? One law for the rich and no law for the poor? Think very carefully.

    • David Simpson November 4, 2015 at 7:22 pm - Reply

      Hayfords, I am a law student and obviously I keenly follow developments in the legal sector. But you say the legal aid had to be cut, and I guess you are implying no ifs no buts (sounds familiar).

      The rich, for which through your comment you have decided you are a mouthpiece for the rich, have their own playground, they can buy the best representation in the world but for people like me and like everyone who reads this rather excellent blog would no doubt know, there is no way we could afford the best representation in the world because we ain’t rich buddy!

      In a civilised world, all people’s irrespective of their income deserve to have justice. That is the hallmark of a civilised society, people access justice and never fear or lose sleep over how they afford to pay the costs.

      Now thanks to austerity and government policies, we now have an archaic and chaotic legal system, clients who have serious cases at work and then find out they have no chance to afford it so therefore cannot access justice, where those who are innocent have to plead guilty in order to reduce costs. Really!!! Is that really justice? No it bloody well isn’t.

      And why is our legal system like it is as I have just explained? Because, as you are in favour of it, legal aid is cut. Get cuts you get chaos and denying 95% of people fair access to justice.

      We have the worlds best legal system because we been doing it for nearly 1,000 years.

    • November 4, 2015 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      Obviously you got lost trying to find your way to the Torygraph!

  5. Emlyn Jones November 4, 2015 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    It has to be an across the board reintroduction. In Family Law, the father is severely disadvantaged as it is almost always he who does not get Legal Aid, usually as a result of allegations which may or not be true. Once allegations are made leading to a possible Finding of Fact, then both parties should be funded. Too many kids are losing contact with a perfectly good parent just because false allegations are being successfully prosecuted by a lawyer against a Litigant in Person who is even denied a McKenzie Friend to speak on their behalf…

  6. Nick November 4, 2015 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    the uk at this time is like Egypt for example in which only the rich can get hold of. the Egyptian president is desperate to take his country forward but how will that be possible to move forward with the likes of the uk in such a regressive mode ?

    who will be able to guide him and his country in going forward when the uk is so far right thinking. Egypt has spent it’s lifetime in a dictatorship vacuum and is desperate to find a suitable country to take it forward where a full and open democracy is the order of the day

    The only leader that would be useful in taking not only Egypt forward but the whole of the middle east is the likes of corbyn but he has to win the uk over first to become prime minister

    the Egyptian people like millions of others in the middle east and Africa are crying out for a better future but that can only come about by the likes of corbyn in power as he is only one of a few worldwide that has always put people first which is odd as politicians always cry there in it for others when the reality is there only in politics for themselves hence all of the worlds turmoil today

    justice /education / housing and health are key ingredients for any leader to aspire to’ all very simple but you need to learn how to implement them so that the public can enjoy the benefits of which all aspire to

    hopefully this madness of this conservative government fails in 2020 and lets just hope and pray that the people of the middle ease can hold out for a new style of politics

  7. Mary November 5, 2015 at 9:17 am - Reply

    A good idea, but why so much focus on the solitcitors than fundamental Human Rights?

    • Mike Sivier November 5, 2015 at 11:55 am - Reply

      He was talking to a meeting of solicitors in the hope that they would be encouraged to stick with legal aid until a Labour Government can re-balance the system.

  8. digger November 5, 2015 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    well done again jeremy

  9. Helen November 9, 2015 at 12:25 am - Reply

    I really like this man.

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