Access to Justice
The Society is deeply concerned about the impact which the proposed legal aid reforms will have upon access to justice for citizens in Northern Ireland. The Society, through its Committees and also at Presidential and Chief Executive level work strenuously to press our case to key politicians and decision makers to ensure that the negative impact of the proposed legal aid reforms are fully understood. The Society considers that access to justice is a fundamental basis of democracy in a civilised society and is important in terms of social cohesion and protecting the weak and vulnerable. Recipients of legal aid rely on their solicitor to protect their fundamental rights and advise and steer them through difficult times. It is important that solicitors are properly paid for their work and their care and conduct of their clients business.
In order to fully press the case, the Presidential team and Chief Executive meet regularly with the Director of the Court Service, Chairman of the Legal Services Commission and where necessary will meet with the Lord Chancellor, Junior Ministers and members of the Northern Ireland Executive and Members of the Legislative Assembly. The relevant Society Committee also takes the lead in preparing responses to consultation papers and in monitoring the impact of legal aid changes. Any potential impact on the network of local solicitors throughout Northern Ireland is carefully considered and we maintain, and argue the case for access to a local solicitor of choice.
LAW SOCIETY RESPONSE TO ACCESS TO JUSTICE REVIEW
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY FEBRUARY 2011
LAW SOCIETY RESPONSE TO ACCESS TO JUSTICE REVIEW FEBRUARY 2011