Solicitors begin two-day strike over goverment's plans to slash legal aid budget

Solicitors on strike in York

Solicitors on strike in York

First published in News
Last updated

York solicitors took to the street instead of the courthouse yesterday as they started a two-day strike against Government plans to cut legal aid.

Every firm that handles criminal law work in the city and Selby joined in the protest that saw defendants having to represent themselves at York Magistrates Court on a variety of charges.

They say that criminal law firms already operate on very thin profit margins and that the cuts will lead to many firms closing and legal aid work will be done by companies operating over large areas staffed by under-qualified lawyers subject to commercial pressures.

They say the proposals are already forcing experienced lawyers out of criminal law and that if the reforms go through there will be a two-tier justice system - one for those who can afford to pay lawyers, and one for those who have to represent themselves including at trials.

A York spokesman said: "We need to bring to the Ministry of Justice's attention just what it will be like when we are all gone. We know that this will cause inconvenience to our clients, courts, and police officers, but better that there are days of inconvenience now, than we lose the balance of the criminal justice system forever."

Throughout the action, the solicitors provided a duty solicitor at Fulford Road Police Station and at court to represent vulnerable individuals such as children and those with mental health problems.

The Government says the reforms are necessary because the national legal aid budget is far too high. Legal aid pays for representation for people charged with a wide range of offences carrying imprisonment, such as causing death by careless driving, allegations of fraud at work, and those accused of rape and other offences.

The action continues today.

Comments (16)

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10:08am Tue 1 Apr 14

chelk says...

I think they see their Gravy Train leaving the station about time
I think they see their Gravy Train leaving the station about time chelk
  • Score: -6

10:11am Tue 1 Apr 14

Captain Beige says...

they're not fooling anybody by announcing this story today......
they're not fooling anybody by announcing this story today...... Captain Beige
  • Score: 9

10:16am Tue 1 Apr 14

asd says...

chelk wrote:
I think they see their Gravy Train leaving the station about time
Or maybe they see the poor will no representation in court because they wont be able to afford it. Nice if your rich isn't it, usual rich people in power screw the poor because they can not defend themselves.
[quote][p][bold]chelk[/bold] wrote: I think they see their Gravy Train leaving the station about time[/p][/quote]Or maybe they see the poor will no representation in court because they wont be able to afford it. Nice if your rich isn't it, usual rich people in power screw the poor because they can not defend themselves. asd
  • Score: 8

10:50am Tue 1 Apr 14

Dick Turpin says...

Anyone who can strike for 2 days is obviouly getting paid too much
Anyone who can strike for 2 days is obviouly getting paid too much Dick Turpin
  • Score: 16

10:51am Tue 1 Apr 14

smudge2 says...

The legal aid system was a licence to print money as the bills were not checked by customers as the state paid for them..these chavs in police stations asking for there solicitors when they have no money to pay make me laugh.Unfortunately every golden goose lays it's final egg and the leeches who profit from it will have to move on to accident compensation and PPI claims to feather there nests.Most of the poor in courts live a life of crime and drugs and the tax payer has to foot the bill for this lifestyle so asd,s comments above are ridiculous .(Look out side the courtrooms on trial day and it looks like a Jeremy Kyle show !!)
The legal aid system was a licence to print money as the bills were not checked by customers as the state paid for them..these chavs in police stations asking for there solicitors when they have no money to pay make me laugh.Unfortunately every golden goose lays it's final egg and the leeches who profit from it will have to move on to accident compensation and PPI claims to feather there nests.Most of the poor in courts live a life of crime and drugs and the tax payer has to foot the bill for this lifestyle so asd,s comments above are ridiculous .(Look out side the courtrooms on trial day and it looks like a Jeremy Kyle show !!) smudge2
  • Score: 21

11:05am Tue 1 Apr 14

again says...

Dick Turpin wrote:
Anyone who can strike for 2 days is obviouly getting paid too much
Yes, being able to protest is fast become a luxury denied to the less well off.

Rather like being able to afford legal representation.

Anyway, shouldn't you have been hanged by now? Or did your brief get you off?
[quote][p][bold]Dick Turpin[/bold] wrote: Anyone who can strike for 2 days is obviouly getting paid too much[/p][/quote]Yes, being able to protest is fast become a luxury denied to the less well off. Rather like being able to afford legal representation. Anyway, shouldn't you have been hanged by now? Or did your brief get you off? again
  • Score: -6

11:33am Tue 1 Apr 14

NJH says...

No mention that the entire probation service is on strike too???
No mention that the entire probation service is on strike too??? NJH
  • Score: 4

11:43am Tue 1 Apr 14

BL2 says...

asd wrote:
chelk wrote:
I think they see their Gravy Train leaving the station about time
Or maybe they see the poor will no representation in court because they wont be able to afford it. Nice if your rich isn't it, usual rich people in power screw the poor because they can not defend themselves.
Exactly - the whole point of this is that the people who cannot afford to pay for a solicitor in a criminal case will no longer be represented as legal aid is not given to them! In some cases I expect I would have no problem with this, but in others it is disgusting!
[quote][p][bold]asd[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]chelk[/bold] wrote: I think they see their Gravy Train leaving the station about time[/p][/quote]Or maybe they see the poor will no representation in court because they wont be able to afford it. Nice if your rich isn't it, usual rich people in power screw the poor because they can not defend themselves.[/p][/quote]Exactly - the whole point of this is that the people who cannot afford to pay for a solicitor in a criminal case will no longer be represented as legal aid is not given to them! In some cases I expect I would have no problem with this, but in others it is disgusting! BL2
  • Score: -1

2:38pm Tue 1 Apr 14

3.8liter says...

NJH wrote:
No mention that the entire probation service is on strike too???
Probation are not on strike today.
[quote][p][bold]NJH[/bold] wrote: No mention that the entire probation service is on strike too???[/p][/quote]Probation are not on strike today. 3.8liter
  • Score: 4

3:15pm Tue 1 Apr 14

meme says...

Standing around doing nothing all day pretty much sums up what lawyers do nowadays
Standing around doing nothing all day pretty much sums up what lawyers do nowadays meme
  • Score: 1

3:34pm Tue 1 Apr 14

T'Marcus says...

BL2 wrote:
asd wrote:
chelk wrote:
I think they see their Gravy Train leaving the station about time
Or maybe they see the poor will no representation in court because they wont be able to afford it. Nice if your rich isn't it, usual rich people in power screw the poor because they can not defend themselves.
Exactly - the whole point of this is that the people who cannot afford to pay for a solicitor in a criminal case will no longer be represented as legal aid is not given to them! In some cases I expect I would have no problem with this, but in others it is disgusting!
If people break the law of this country they must pay, regardless.
Solicitor just make fool of ordinary law-abiding, tax-paying, folk, and line their deep pockets.
[quote][p][bold]BL2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]asd[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]chelk[/bold] wrote: I think they see their Gravy Train leaving the station about time[/p][/quote]Or maybe they see the poor will no representation in court because they wont be able to afford it. Nice if your rich isn't it, usual rich people in power screw the poor because they can not defend themselves.[/p][/quote]Exactly - the whole point of this is that the people who cannot afford to pay for a solicitor in a criminal case will no longer be represented as legal aid is not given to them! In some cases I expect I would have no problem with this, but in others it is disgusting![/p][/quote]If people break the law of this country they must pay, regardless. Solicitor just make fool of ordinary law-abiding, tax-paying, folk, and line their deep pockets. T'Marcus
  • Score: 2

4:01pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Dick Turpin says...

again wrote:
Dick Turpin wrote:
Anyone who can strike for 2 days is obviouly getting paid too much
Yes, being able to protest is fast become a luxury denied to the less well off.

Rather like being able to afford legal representation.

Anyway, shouldn't you have been hanged by now? Or did your brief get you off?
Went to The European Court of Humsn Rights.
You cant fail!
[quote][p][bold]again[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dick Turpin[/bold] wrote: Anyone who can strike for 2 days is obviouly getting paid too much[/p][/quote]Yes, being able to protest is fast become a luxury denied to the less well off. Rather like being able to afford legal representation. Anyway, shouldn't you have been hanged by now? Or did your brief get you off?[/p][/quote]Went to The European Court of Humsn Rights. You cant fail! Dick Turpin
  • Score: 0

5:39pm Tue 1 Apr 14

masanki says...

Legal Aid was meant to help the poor..unfortunately the career petty criminals are the ones who use and abuse it..they are not poor but scroungers who have ruined what was in theory a good idea..when you see reports in the press of these people in the courts..thieves..dru
g dealers etc..repeat offenders....just remember the tax payers are footing their solicitors bills..therefore the genuine needy honest person is going to lose their legal aid.
Legal Aid was meant to help the poor..unfortunately the career petty criminals are the ones who use and abuse it..they are not poor but scroungers who have ruined what was in theory a good idea..when you see reports in the press of these people in the courts..thieves..dru g dealers etc..repeat offenders....just remember the tax payers are footing their solicitors bills..therefore the genuine needy honest person is going to lose their legal aid. masanki
  • Score: 6

5:39pm Tue 1 Apr 14

masanki says...

Legal Aid was meant to help the poor..unfortunately the career petty criminals are the ones who use and abuse it..they are not poor but scroungers who have ruined what was in theory a good idea..when you see reports in the press of these people in the courts..thieves..dru
g dealers etc..repeat offenders....just remember the tax payers are footing their solicitors bills..therefore the genuine needy honest person is going to lose their legal aid.
Legal Aid was meant to help the poor..unfortunately the career petty criminals are the ones who use and abuse it..they are not poor but scroungers who have ruined what was in theory a good idea..when you see reports in the press of these people in the courts..thieves..dru g dealers etc..repeat offenders....just remember the tax payers are footing their solicitors bills..therefore the genuine needy honest person is going to lose their legal aid. masanki
  • Score: 5

8:22pm Tue 1 Apr 14

nearlyman says...

.............they look a rum bunch to me....not dissimilar to the usual lot I see hanging around those steps !!
.............they look a rum bunch to me....not dissimilar to the usual lot I see hanging around those steps !! nearlyman
  • Score: 6

10:30am Wed 2 Apr 14

alanyork says...

nearlyman wrote:
.............they look a rum bunch to me....not dissimilar to the usual lot I see hanging around those steps !!
LOVE IT -- THE USUAL SUSPECTS -- RIPPING US OFF TIME+TIME AGAIN--
BY ALL THE REPEAT OFFENDERS ! !
[quote][p][bold]nearlyman[/bold] wrote: .............they look a rum bunch to me....not dissimilar to the usual lot I see hanging around those steps !![/p][/quote]LOVE IT -- THE USUAL SUSPECTS -- RIPPING US OFF TIME+TIME AGAIN-- BY ALL THE REPEAT OFFENDERS ! ! alanyork
  • Score: 0

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