Free time to prop up the system?

I read with tired dismay your editorial (The Lawyer, 15 March).

In previous editions I read of lawyers who would gladly take a reduction in pay for the chance to have a life outside work. So now you're telling us that what little free time we do have we should spend propping up the "justice" system.

Access to justice for all, regardless of wealth, is one of the foundations of a liberal democracy. It is the duty of the state to ensure access by funding it, not for hard-working lawyers to step in to bridge the gap for free.

The Labour Government is fond of lawyer-bashing because it thinks it's what the public want to hear. It also suits the executive to erode opposition, and in particular an independent legal profession able to challenge it on behalf of those without powerful friends. One expects to hear such rubbish from the Government, but not from The Lawyer.

Paul Howard, Sisman Nichols