Trying to strike a balance

Last year it was the barristers; this year, it’s the turn of solicitors to go on strike over legal aid. A particularly active bunch have got together, given themselves a name – the Criminal Defence Action Union (CDAU) – and are striking today and tomorrow (Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 December) in protest at the Government’s legal aid reforms.

The point, the group says, is that the reforms won’t change much. They merely introduce means-testing and competitive price-tendering into the equation, rather than raising frozen fees.

At the inaugural meeting of the CDAU last week (30 November), access to justice was at the forefront of solicitors’ minds. But while the Government says the reforms will improve access to justice, solicitors say that they will be forced to shut up shop, so reducing it.

And to prove their point, they’ve gone on strike. Let’s see how that will improve access to justice.