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19 August 2011

Law Society Confident of Resolution to Dispute

The Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland has this afternoon met to consider the ongoing criminal legal aid dispute involving some of its members.

 

The Council of the Law Society of Northern Ireland has this afternoon met to consider the ongoing criminal legal aid dispute involving some of its members.

The Society which represents solicitors throughout Northern Ireland has over the summer months been involved in wide ranging talks with representatives from the Department of Justice, the Solicitors Criminal Bar Association and the Bar Council.

These talks have proven to be constructive and have provided an opportunity for discussions to take place, concerns of practitioners to be raised and areas of ongoing review to be identified.

This afternoon the Council of the Society met to consider a number of reports from those involved in the discussions. 

The Council of the Society were briefed that members of the Solicitors Criminal Bar Association (SCBA) had considered the opportunities presented by the ongoing discussions and noted that the Department of Justice had acknowledged that a number of areas required further review.

As a result of these discussions it is expected that criminal law practitioners will resume work in representing clients in cases heard before the Crown Court.

The Council of the Law Society welcomed this development and the constructive engagement that had taken place with representatives of the Department of Justice to date.

Speaking following the Council meeting the President of the Law Society Brian Speers said:

“The Law Society has always maintained that a resolution to the ongoing dispute could only be found through proactive engagement and constructive dialogue involving all parties.

We are pleased that the discussions to date have been positive and we are hopeful that members will begin returning to work soon.

The Law Society remains committed to supporting the ongoing discussions and to continuing to work constructively to building confidence in the administration of justice in Northern Ireland ”.

 

-        ENDS -