Chapter

Labour Ends Legal Aid as We Know It

RICHARD L. ABEL

in English Lawyers between Market and State

Published in print May 2004 | ISBN: 9780198260349
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682094 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198260349.003.0008

Series: Oxford Socio-Legal Studies

Labour Ends Legal Aid as We Know It

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Labour had equivocated on legal aid. As shadow Home Secretary, Tony Blair declared that any attempt to slash the legal aid budget would be disastrous for the legal system and for the many ordinary citizens. Lord Irvine told 500 solicitors that Lord Mackay's 1995 Green Paper had the fingerprints of the treasury all over it but conceded Labour had no quick fixes and no new money. Anticipating the 1997 general election, Irvine promised at the September 1996 annual Bar conference to restore legal aid to the status of a public social service. Universal contributions were a ‘powerful deterrent’ to accepting legal aid. At the same time, Irvine did not rule out a budget cap, the hope was to have QCs' fees regulated. After the Labour landslide, the Solicitors Journal hoped the presence of seven lawyers in the Cabinet would be good news for the legal profession. Labour promised a less confrontational approach.

Keywords: legal aid; solicitors; Green Paper; annual Bar conference; budget cap

Chapter.  29591 words. 

Subjects: Legal System and Practice

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