Candidates find the manifesto they have been looking for
Candidates vying for election on May 7 have given legal professional bodies and legal aid charities a boost, heaping praise on their manifesto which calls for politicians to focus more on justice.
A Bar Council spokesperson said:
"The response to 'A Manifesto for Justice' shows that MPs of all parties have been guilty of underestimating the importance of justice as an electoral issue. This manifesto explains why access to justice, the rule of law and our human rights and freedoms must be respected."
The Bar Council received the following comments from prospective parliamentary candidates of all parties, just hours after it was sent out:
"If elected to Parliament I shall do whatever is possible to reverse this situation and bring about more resource and universality in rights to legal services and justice."
"Access to justice is fundamentally important and in fact, was raised as a concern at a hustings event for the Afro Caribbean community that I was at only yesterday."
"I am delighted to support the manifesto for justice."
"I completely agree with the points you have raised."
"After reading the manifesto I will tweet my support."
"I support your campaign for more equitable access to the law for citizens. Good luck in your campaign."
"I firmly believe in a just society. I'd like to discuss these ideas briefly with your chairman, if possible."
"Justice is a very important area of policy."
"Thank you for this. Is it on a web site so I can link to it?"
Writing in The Times , Alistair MacDonald QC, Chairman of the Bar Council, said:
"There are now 400,000 fewer cases of civil legal aid funding per year than before LASPO was implemented. Of course it is victims of domestic violence, those with disabilities and the poorest, who suffer the most. But do not sit in complacence. Injustice is coming soon to a middle-England town near you."
"Justice is not a benefit or a tax break, it underpins our way of life and protects everything we work hard for. Yet this point is not articulated by political parties in their visions for the future."