People are gathered here to protest the cuts in legal aid that are part of an assault on the Ministry of Justice budget, which under the current government is slated to be cut by one-third between 2010 and 2016. (www.gov.uk/government/news
5 September 2013)
As a result, the most vulnerable people in our society: prisoners, immigrants, the working poor will not be able to secure legal aid. Sir James Munby, the Judge in charge of the Family Division of the Courts called the cuts “disconcerting” and said from the bench that “something should be done”. (www.familyandchildlawblogspot.co.uk)
The rights and liberties of the populace has seen an unprecedented assault in the last fifteen years. Our rights to protest and to privacy, to stand against the iniquities of the government at all have been eroded consistently, and now the ability of the poorest to protect their most fundamental rights is being diminished for cost savings, savings that most think are illusory. (See, e.g., Transforming Legal Aid, Civil and Prison Law Proposals: Justice at Risk? The Law Society, June 2013)
The economic collapse caused by the banks has stretched the middle class and the working class to the breaking point. It has made it more and more difficult to make a living, and we are all hard-pressed to find time to love and enjoy our families, let alone help right the wrongs in our country. But the rule of law is fundamental. When it is only for the rich, our country is in danger of fascism. This is not a fringe issue. Access to the courts was the main demand at
Runnymede. We need it
Please write to Minister Grayling and tell him you oppose these cuts. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Standing against the legal aid cuts is a way of standing up for the people with mental health problems in prison, the people with learning disabilities among the marginal poor, the people who the Crown seeks to arrest who have no one to defend them, the people known, in Christianity at least, as “the least of these my brethren”.