Garden Court Chambers have formulated the below response to the Ministry of Justice consultation document ‘Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps.” The response reiterates Chambers’ strong opposition to the cuts to legal aid.
Garden Court Chambers is one of the largest barristers’ chambers in England and Wales. We have recently welcomed to Chambers a number of barristers from Tooks Chambers and, considering that Tooks closed as direct result of the existing cuts to legal aid, we have direct experience of the profound effect that the cuts have already had on barristers carrying out publicly funded work.
Legal Aid is one of the cornerstones of a civilised society as rights are worthless if they cannot be enforced. The law is our system for doing this and it is universally recognised that, where the state intervenes in our lives, we must be able to assert our rights and this almost always requires the help of lawyers. Continue reading
Ali Naseem Bajwa QC and Terry McGuinness examine port stops carried out under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
In June this year, journalist Glenn Greenwald published in The Guardian newspaper the first of a series of reports detailing US and British mass surveillance programmes, based on documents obtained by the National Security Agency whistleblower, Edward Snowden. On 18 August, Mr. Greenwald’s partner and occasional assistant, David Miranda, flying via London from Berlin to Rio de Janeiro was stopped at Heathrow Airport under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Mr. Miranda was detained for nine hours, questioned and had various items of electronic equipment seized from him. The link between Mr. Greenwald’s publications and Mr. Miranda’s detention is undisputed.
As the facts concerning the Miranda case continue to emerge, the hitherto little-known schedule 7 powers have fallen into the spotlight and provoked a fierce public debate. But what precisely is schedule 7 and why is it controversial? Continue reading
As part of a recent EU project, Marc Willers has produced this rough guide to the Civil Appeal System in England and Wales.
1. Civil Justice in England and Wales
1.1 In England and Wales civil justice is administered mainly by judges who sit in local civil courts, known as County Courts or by judges sitting in the High Court and is governed by the Civil Procedure Rules (CPRs), Statute and the doctrine of precedent.
1.2 The High Court is divided into three main Divisions: the Chancery Division, the Family Division and the Queen’s Bench Division: Continue reading
Liz Davies, writing in the Morning Star on Saturday 14 September, delivers a grim warning about the future of legal aid.
The misleading headlines in recent weeks were all “government U-turn on legal aid.”
In fact legal aid remains under severe threat and the campaign to retain it needs intensifying.
Yesterday’s legal aid rally outside the Old Bailey saw hundreds of lawyers, charities and campaigners gathering to protest against the Government’s proposed cuts to legal aid. The rally was attended by a number of barristers and staff members from Chambers.
Yesterday, hundreds of lawyers, charities and campaigners took part in a rally for legal aid outside the Old Bailey. Organised by the Justice Alliance, the rally, attended by a number of barristers and staff members from Chambers, involved a wide variety of speakers who delivered an array of stirring speeches and calls to action. The afternoon also included music and poetry from the London Youth Gospel Choir and Zita Holbourne of BARAC UK respectively. The rally was a demonstration against the cuts to legal aid that the Government has proposed which would, if carried out, leave many people without sufficient access to justice. Continue reading