In an essay commissioned by the Justice Gap - 19th Dec 2012, GCN's Mark George QC enthuses about the passionate commitment of legal aid lawyers to the people they represent and to achieving their constitutional right to a fair trial. Despite being in an era of permanent cuts to the legal aid budget, legal aid clients should still expect a service "every bit as good as they would if they were paid privately" says Mark.

Extracts from the essay:

"Legal aid lawyers are passionate about people and passionate about justice. We do the job because we want to protect our clients’ interest and do our best to get them the right outcome. We do it because we know that legal aid lawyers can make a difference to our client’s lives. Saving an innocent person from wrongful conviction is a wonderful feeling. The same applies if we can prevent a tenant being wrongly evicted or a desperate asylum seeker from being deported. And even if we may not always win, we will make damn sure our clients get as fair a trial as we can manage to achieve."

"The legal aid system is regarded by many as an essential aspect of the welfare system of which we are rightly proud. Attacks on this aspect of the welfare state are every bit as dangerous as attacks on welfare benefits and the health system and we should all be very concerned about what is happening to our right to proper representation before the courts."

Read the full Justice Gap essay here:

Mark George QC has been practising as a legal aid criminal barrister for over 35 years.

Quick links

14th May 2012 - Mark George QC on Why we do what we do (ie Legal Aid)

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