Legal Business

Striking out – a desperate profession and the politics of legal aid

It’s over two years since the government announced its controversial next wave of cuts to legal aid. As resentment this year exploded into an unprecedented strike, Legal Business assesses the anger and professional horse-trading.

‘A revolution requires willing fighters with nothing to lose. There may be plenty of legal aid practitioners who fit this description. Revolution also requires a reasonable level of popular support. It is unclear whether the unity of the profession remains sufficiently robust or whether the movement as a whole has the energy it did two years ago. At this early stage, next steps are uncertain. The profession may choose conciliation, combat or a mixture of both – but, with little leverage left, whichever option it selects it must be totally committed to it.’
Tom Smith, The Justice Gap, 2015