The Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling believes that London should take its place at the heart of the International Legal community.
These were his encouraging words ahead of next year’s Global Law Summit –
For those who are interested this is a major event with high level speakers including Cherie Booth QC , Aung San Suu Kyi and erm Boris Johnson. It is two day event – tickets on the door - £1750.00.
Grayling spoke of our long and proud legal tradition. And in one small sense, he is right. As a country we do seem to have plenty of money to spend encouraging the rich and powerful to litigate here. We have the Rolls Building which is certainly a top of the range facility for the highest level commercial disputes –
The cost of building that beautiful court would have funded access to legal aid for thousands of people.
We cannot claim to be at the heart of any Legal Community whilst substantial numbers of our citizens have no access to our justice system. Just this week we have seen a shocking report from the National Audit Office that there has been a doubling of cases involving children where neither party has legal representation. This is causing injustice, delay and increased public expense as cases take far longer.
This report made the very reasonable comment that – ‘… the MoJ had failed to think through the impact the changes would have on the wider system…’ We have been trying to tell them that for the last 4 years.
We have also seen attacks on the rights of accident victims to recover their full legal costs alongside a full blown media campaign to demonise those victims.
When it comes to providing a Rolls Royce service for those who have endless funds to spend, we are right there at the top. When it comes to providing ordinary people with a means of protecting their rights, most people find the door well and truly shut in their faces. Until that door is opened we cannot claim to be at the heart of any justice system worth the name.