Produced by organisations including the Bar Council, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, the Law Centres Network, AdviceUK and the Legal Action Group, it puts forward the case for an effective and efficient system of justice, which is accessible to all.

It calls on the next government to restore legal aid for those areas where the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 removed it, to protect the legal aid budget from further cuts and to scrap the recent changes to judicial review.

Bar Chairman, Alistair MacDonald QC, said: “Politicians think justice, in the broader sense, yields insufficient political capital. And why shouldn’t they?

“Voters have for years taken access to justice for granted as an immutable part of our heritage and the established order. But for how much longer will they so do?”

In the week that the three main political parties launched their manifestos, a YouGov poll indicated that the public is more concerned about access to justice than free healthcare.

Of the 2,022 respondents who took part in the online survey, 84% rated access to justice as a fundamental right, compared with 82% for healthcare.

The pressure mounted on parties to take the issue seriously. As Counsel went to press, solicitor groups planned a mass “Vote for Justice” rally in central London, while a satirical animation, entitled Legal Aid Team, hosted on the Guardian newspaper’s website sought to explain the importance of legal aid to the electorate.