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General election: Law Society statement

May 8, 2015

Call to action for justice

The Law Society calls for the new government to make justice a priority in order to make society fairer, strengthen our reputation as a global leader in the law and boost our economy.

Law Society president Andrew Caplen said:

'Access to justice for everyone is the mark of a civilised society. We want to work with the new administration to protect access to justice, particularly for the most vulnerable.

'The legal system in England and Wales is respected throughout the world. To promote the UK as a jurisdiction of choice, it is essential that we uphold the rule of law.'

Two of the key issues for access to justice which the Law Society will be highlighting are the potential threat to the Human Rights Act and the increasing costs of justice which make it inaccessible to ordinary people. Andrew Caplen continued:

'The Human Rights Act is a fundamental safeguard of many of our basic rights and freedoms. We will be pressing the government to retain it.'

'We are also calling on the government to review the impact of increased court fees and legal aid changes. Ordinary people and small businesses trying to recover money owed to them are being priced out of the courts. Further changes to the way legal aid is provided in criminal cases risk denying those accused of wrongdoing the right to fair representation. This could lead to miscarriages of justice.'

'We look forward to talking with the new government to make justice a priority.'

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