01 Jun 2015

Belfast lawyers granted right to appeal criminal legal aid cuts

Lawyers in Northern Ireland have won the first round of a battle against legal aid cuts.

Belfast lawyers are protesting over legal aid cuts SurangaSL

A judge granted leave in Belfast last week for bodies representing the Law Society and the Bar Council to seek a judicial review of  legal aid cuts  which they claim do not provide fair remuneration for criminal lawyers. Arguing that the cuts would erode advocacy and representation for defendants, the legal profession want a declaration that the new rules are illegal and should be overturned. Barristers will continue to strike over the cuts, with law firms protesting by refusing to provide professional services in criminal cases.  NI receives better legal aid rates than the UK generally, the court heard.