Straw talks tough on legal aid

Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Jack Straw called for a “better balance in legal aid” in England and Wales, in a speech at London School of Economics in March.


He highlighted the fact that half of legal aid in the Crown Court is consumed by just one per cent of cases, and warned that lawyers and law firms who are dependent on state funding “would be wise to reconsider expectations of earnings”. “Successful legal business may be a by product of law ... but it is not the purpose of law,” he said. There still needed to be a debate about how much “lawyers should be able to draw from the taxpayer.” Quoting former US President Jimmy Carter, he said the UK was “in danger of becoming ‘over-lawyered and under-represented’”.

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