You are here

Sounding off is not enough, survey reveals

4 March 2011

The Law Society is not doing enough to fight government cuts, according to a survey of legal aid lawyers.

A poll carried out by solicitor referral service Contact Law on behalf of Solicitors Journal suggests that less than a third of the legal aid sector is content with the Law Society’s campaign.

A publicity drive criticising the cuts has been led by the Law Society since the green paper was unveiled last November. It has also offered an alternative funding proposal to the government in its response to the public consultation, which it believes negates the need for a budget reduction.

Last month saw the Law Society step up its lobbying via the launch of the Sound Off For Justice campaign, which is currently running a petition against the MoJ’s proposed £350m cuts.

But a poll of more than 200 legal aid lawyers, carried out in the run up to the consultation’s closure on 14 February, found that that 68 per cent of respondents do not believe the professional body has done enough to oppose the cuts.

A spokeswoman at the Law Society said the Sound Off campaign is only in its early stages, adding: “Our feedback from legal aid firms has actually been very positive.”

When asked if the society believes it is possible to force a government U-turn on the green paper proposals, the spokeswoman replied: “The Law Society continues to lobby government over its proposed changes to legal aid. We have highlighted other areas where we believe savings can be made, so that legal aid does not have to be cut.

“Our Sound off for Justice campaign is gaining momentum and we hope that government will take note of our concerns.”

The government has yet to respond to any of the Law Society’s criticisms of the green paper, she added.

For more on the survey see next week’s edition of SJ.

Categorised in:

Legal Aid Police & Prisons