The Criminal Bar Association is only too well aware of the upsurge of anger within its ranks, in reaction to proposals by this and the previous government to destroy our system of publicly funded legal services.
Much is said in robing rooms, whether in quiet corners, or more openly, about what is perceived to be a lack of positive action by the CBA, the Bar Council, or both.
Worse, it is thought by many that voices, particularly those of the junior bar, are not being listened to, and that the powers that be have simply given up.
The increased use of Social Media, particularly in recent months, has meant that those voices are now making themselves heard.
The CBA Twitter account was relaunched in order to ensure that not only could those voices be heard, but that we had a means of listening, responding and spreading that word.
This blog is a natural progression.
It’s here for us to post articles, in addition to MTQC’s weekly email, as well as for all to respond.
You can do so by sending in articles of your own for publication, or by responding to existing posted articles.
They will be moderated, but ONLY in the event of gratuitous abuse, or anything defamatory. We want to hear your views, and will not edit out the ones we don’t agree with.
You can choose to be anonymous if you wish. It will be respected.
We want to hear what you think particularly about direct action. The CBA has NOT abandoned that as an idea. We need to weigh the views of members in support, and against, if any.
You may have specific concerns to raise about #QASA or #OCOF. we are actively pursuing alternative approaches to these issues. The views of those at the junior end are possibly even more important than those at the top. You after all have your entire careers ahead of you.
Oh and it isn’t all London either! One of the government’s guiding principles has been “Divide and Rule.” A perfect example of this has been the rolling out of #QASA on a piecemeal basis, effectively to coerce those on the initial launch to fall into line. Thus the remainder would have no option.
The government clearly thinks that we will all fall like dominoes, and that those circuits unaffected to begin with will not be interested in protecting the interests of those first in the firing line.
The front ranks fear that if they take action, those following behind will simply sweep up their work.
That CANNOT be allowed to happen. Those two circuits MUST be given the full support of all others.
We are NOT defending our own self interest, we are defending our profession, and the right of the public to a quality Legal Aid service. Anyone who still suffers from the “I’m all right Jack” mentality should monitor this blog. Hopefully they will soon realise that they are in the wrong job.
So there you are. You have your voice and your forum. Time to speak up. No time like the present!
All contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org