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Paving the way to totalitarianism

When will the state stop interfering and restricting lawyers' power to help the everyday man, asks Kerry Underwood

8 April 2014

As lawyers we see the current onslaught from the government, the Jackson courts and the regulators as an attack on us.

It is also an attack on the rule of law and the concept that disputes should be determined by independent judges according to the law, not by regulators
and administrators.

Throughout history there has been a tension between access to justice and legal costs, epitomised by the comment that the courts like the Ritz, are open to everyone. The current official mood is very different. It is that courts and access to justice are in themselves undesirable and to be restricted. Reacting to the 79 per cent reduction in employment tribunal claims since fees were introduced in July 2013 a minister said: “The only work being hit by our tribunal reform is the workload of employment lawyers”.

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