Lawyers protest at parliament against slashing of legal aid
Around 1,000 lawyers, legal workers and supporters rallied opposite parliament today, Wednesday, against government plans to slash legal aid in criminal cases.
Instead of getting to choose their own representation, people would be lumped with whichever private firm could deliver it most cheaply. Front runners include Tesco, the Co-op and Eddie Stobart. Also under consideration is security firm G4S, currently in the spotlight because of the inquest into the death of Jimmy Mubenga during a forced deportation.
“I know that without legal aid I would still be in prison,” said Gerry Conlon—one of the Guildford Four who spent 15 years in prison for a bombing they didn’t commit.
“We were lucky to get lawyers who believed in us,” he continued. “Back in the 1970s they sent innocent people to jail by the vanload. But if these cuts go through they’ll be sending them in by the Eddie Stobart truckload.”
Other victims of miscarriages of justice spoke out, alongside MPs and leading barristers.