The future of Legal Aid and Litigants in Person: can we Safeguard Access to Justice? was an excellent event chaired by Joshua Rozenberg and organised by the Halsbury Law Exchange last night 22.09.2016.
One of the four panellists was Steve Hynes, the author of “Austerity Justice”.
In the morning I was cheered up with “Go on, Love”, as my walking sticks took me to the tube.
“Carry on, Soldier”, I thought when I spoke with a retired Crown Prosecutor who used to work with Austin Mitchell MP on the Campaign for a National Legal Service (CNLS). On behalf of the Forum for Stable Currencies, Austin had submitted Early Day Motions to ensure Public Credit for Public Purposes from 2001 to 2011.
On the legal issue of the supposed ‘neutrality’ and ‘independence’ of the Judiciary:
- who decides on its budget?
- who finances court buildings, judges, court staff, prisons?
- the money does not seem to come out of Governments budgets – but last night everybody seemed to assume that Government is responsible for the quality of the ‘justice system’.
On the financial power to control, maybe we need to go back to the Enforcement of the Bank of England Act 1694:
- it made trading ‘financial products’ punishable – at three times the value of the trade!
Maybe we need to question what the Bank of England does with its powers
- to create bonds and other ‘financial products’ as ‘money from thin air’
- to lend money at interest to the Government:
On the expectations projected onto the Online Court, maybe the Law Specialist Group of the British Computer Society can contribute?
My computer logic tells me that the Bank of England owes the Government a lot of money!
- Who will lead the way from Austerity Justice to Prosperity Justice or can we envisage prosperity and justice?
What do I find about CNLS – the Campaign for a National Legal Service?
- Public defenders of the realm – an article published in 1996 by The Lawyer with these quotes:
The crisis of funding for public legal services is not limited to the UK.
The Campaign for a National Legal Service (CNLS) recognises the gravy train has hit the buffers.
The group wants a national network of law centres doing all publically-funded civil work – law centres represent better value than high street practice.
The sickness at the heart of UK justice is ultimately cultural. Anyone who fails to understand must read David Rose’s penetrating insight into the collapse of criminal justice, In the Name of the Law.
“Class,” he says, “accounts for some of the system’s most objectionable features.”
Go on, Love. Carry on, Soldier.
- Victims turned Survivors and Starfighters,
- Campaigners turned Online Activists and Petitioners,
- McKenzie Friends turned Whistleblowers and Public Interest Advocates CONNECT and UNITE – towards SMART Justice – thanks to IT!!!