From Kate Adams, campaigner for refugee and disability rights:
Defend Legal Aid: Protest MP Julian Brazier’s Surgery
Saturday July 6th
The Christian Centre, Seasalter
The government plans to slash criminal and civil legal aid this autumn. Lawyers have called for strike action against this attack on democracy and human rights!
- Under Price Competitive Tendering (PCT) solicitors will have to bid for criminal cases and the lowest bidder will get appointed. Some corporations who have shown interest such as G4S are already running prisons and deporting people. Others like trucking company Eddie Stobart have no legal experience at all.
- A residence test will disqualify all those who have not been lawfully in the UK for at least 12 months from civil legal aid including those held indefinitely under immigration powers. There will be no legal aid for bail or to challenge unlawful detention.
- The changes will restrict rights to Judicial Review, and cut fees for expert medical and psychological reports crucial to obtaining justice.
Sources: Legal Action for Women; The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Blog editor’s note: For those not familiar with the area, Seasalter is a village near Whitstable, and is much less accessible than it’s larger neighbour. Far away from the district’s base in Canterbury, and removed from the other key populated areas of his constituency, Brazier’s remote and religious choice of surgery location is not without purpose.