On 25th September 2014 there will be a strange and scary site in the city of Liverpool as a few hundred lawyers and judges take to the streets!
However we will not be protesting (much), and we certainly will not be looking for ambulances to chase. This is in fact the day of the 2014 Liverpool Legal Walk. Never in all of my 30 odd years in the law has there been a greater need for free legal advice and help for those in need.
I once described Access to Justice in this country as a Waste Land. That, if anything, was an understatement.
Legal Aid was virtually wiped out in 2013. This particularly affected those who could least afford to pay for legal advice. Advice agencies and the courts are struggling to meet the demand.
In the meantime there lawyers and other advisers, across the country who are doing their best to give what help they can. This includes Citizens Advice Bureaux, Law Centres and even Legal Clinics at Universities manned by students. Most of these agencies are having to turn many deserving clients away as they simply do not have the resources.
One of the first blogs that I ever posted concerned the dismantling of justice for ordinary people –
The situation now is far worse.
This is a shocking indictment on our society. There is no point in having a justice system if it is only available to the wealthy. There is no point in ordinary people having rights if they cannot do anything about it. I could rant on all day. It might, one day, make a difference.
In the meantime what I can do is drag myself around the city and try and raise some much needed support for these beleaguered agencies.
So I make no apology for using this blog to ask readers to click the link below and make a donation!