Big Firms Group respond to LGFS consultation
In response to the government’s consultation on further cuts to the rates of pay paid for criminal defence work, the Big Firms’ Group have submitted a response with a message to the Ministry of Justice that “No More Cuts” can be shouldered by the criminal defence community. The criminal justice system as a whole is crumbling under the weight of austerity since 2010 – but the criminal defence sector was not, in any event, a beneficiary of pre-austerity largess. The freeze in rates since 1998 is a real term cut of around 40% in 20 years as a result of inflation in that period – a period which has also seen a number of cuts to headline rates of pay as well.
The MoJ always prefaces its consultations with rhetoric regarding the UK justice system being the envy of the world. There are many very good reasons to have been proud of our criminal justice system, but the foundations on which it rests are being eroded beyond the point of sustainability. This is short sighted in the context of the importance of the criminal justice system to the fabric of our democratic society – but also from the point of view that this is likely to be an expensive mistake in the longer term. Read the BFG Consultation response at BFG Consultation response – Final