Left-wing group urges shake-up of legal system

A LEADING group of left-wing lawyers is launching a campaign to revolutionise the legal system's approach to justice.

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers says it will use Justice 2000 to fight for a fairer application of the law by analysing areas in which it affects people's lives.

It has organised a series of meetings with guest speakers, leading up to a major conference and the publication of a book at the end of this year.

Among the big names backing the campaign are Michael Mansfield QC and MPs Diane Abbott and Bernie Grant.

They will cover subjects including the restriction of access to justice, the stifling of public protest, breaches of human rights in Northern Ireland and the legal system's insensitivity to human rights.

Barrister Bill Bowring, the society's chair, says: “This is the most extensive campaign we have ever launched and will reaffirm the place of the society as the leading organisation for progressive lawyers.”

The campaign gets under way on 27 April at the London School of Economics with a talk on the lessons to be learned from South Africa's past history, by Fayeeza Kathree of the South African Constitutional Court.

Subsequent speakers include Mansfield, Grant and Abbott.