Six unions with legal connections have launched a Justice Forum designed to “unveil the full chaos that exists in the justice system”.
The forum, which aims to coordinate the interests of those working in and using the justice system, says it will “maintain a watching brief” across the whole justice system and demonstrate the full impact of cuts in resources.
The unions, which represent workers in the civil and criminal justice system, are: the Civil and Public Services Association; the Association of Magisterial Officers; the First Division Association; the Public Services Tax & Commerce Union; Unison; and the National Association of Probation Officers. Graham Watts, president of AMO, will be president of the forum until April.
Spokeswoman Rosie Eagleson said the forum was born of a feeling that the unions should be speaking with one strong voice on the highly political issue of resources instead of competing against each other.
“Our real aim is to get the focus of the debate on to the way justice is delivered. The forum has an important role to play in highlighting the full breadth and impact of cuts in the justice system,” she said.
“While the official justice agencies are fragmented and competing, the unions have come together to campaign for real justice for all.”
The forum plans to publish briefing documents on issues, such as access to justice and computerisation, and to hold a conference on the administration of justice early next year.