Save Justice is a group campaigning against the government’s current proposals to reduce access to justice through changes to legal aid and judicial review. Their campaign work has included organising a large demonstration outside the Ministry of Justice in June 2013 which was addressed by speakers ranging from Dinah Rose QC to human rights activist Bianca Jagger and made national news; meeting with the Minister of State for Justice, Lord McNally in July 2013, along with two Wilsons clients who were recipients of legal aid; and taking part in the Bar Council’s ‘Legal Aid Question Time’.
Many at Wilsons have contributed to Save Justice campaign work. Four of our trainees are founding members and joint co-ordinators of Save Justice. Isaac Shaffer and Jennine Walker are currently in seats in the Family Law department, and Penny Brownbridge and Katy Robinson will qualify in the next few weeks into our Immigration and Public Law departments respectively.
This week we launched the Save Justice postcard campaign.
Our aim is to put pressure on Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats to oppose the government’s damaging proposals to change legal aid. We plan to gather 10,000 postcards signed by people from all walks of life, backgrounds and ages and from across the country, who disagree with the changes. We want to show that access to justice is something that everyone believes in. We will be delivering the postcards to Nick Clegg in November.
The campaign has been sponsored by Wilsons, Garden Court Chambers, Doughty Street Chambers, No. 1 Pump Court and Matrix Chambers. We held a design competition to find a striking image for the postcard, and have so far recruited a large number of Save Justice ‘Ambassadors’ from across the country to push forward the campaign. There has been a lot of enthusiasm for the campaign and we are still being contacted with more offers of help. The Ambassadors are going out and letting the public know what’s happening and who it affects.
The main challenge this week has been responding to lots of queries and sending out packs of postcards. The proposals to change legal aid and judicial review are complex and throughout the campaign we’ve tried to summarise the changes in an accessible way. We’re up against misleading statistics from the Ministry of Justice and incorrect impressions generated by the media. The Save Justice Ambassadors are explaining directly to people how the changes will impact on access to justice.
We’ll be delivering the postcards to Nick Clegg in November. We will continue to campaign to ensure access to justice for all. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed and blog for future campaigning activities.
If you would like to be involved in the campaign please email us.