06 January 2014
Lawyers Protest Over Legal Aid
Barristers rallied in cities around the country in order to raise awareness for amendments to laws that could see their fees fall by 30 per cent, reports the BBC.
According to the Criminal Bar Association, this would not only cause problems for smaller legal firms, but it will also reduce the number of poorer clients that can afford their help - potentially prejudicing trials in favour of the rich.
However, the Ministry of Justice argues these changes are needed to keep the legal system sustainable in the face of government cuts that have been prescribed by the coalition.
Justice minister Shailesh Vara said: "We are living in difficult economic times and lawyers are not immune from the economic climate."
Non-attendance was reported across the UK as rallies took place in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol and Winchester.
By Francesca Witney