March 29, 2023


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Letter: An open plea to justice secretary Humza Yousaf

2 min read

I compose on behalf of the users of the Aberdeen Bar Affiliation but in assist of all legal legal assist practitioners.  I create to tell you of the impending demise of an full profession.

All over the existing pandemic, we have watched with no little degree of regard, these other folks who have placed themselves at risk in purchase to make it possible for society to keep on to operate. There are several who have done so but I refer in particular to health professionals, nurses and teachers. They have worked tirelessly to ensure that community services continue on to be provided in what are evidently, unprecedented instances.

Furthermore, we as a occupation, alongside with employees of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Provider, have ensured the easy managing of the justice program, throughout the pandemic. 

Read through far more: Lawyers get action following Scottish Government refuse to boost lawful help

It is a fact that we choose satisfaction in supporting these customers of society who have to have our companies.

It is with deep regret as a result that we as a career discover ourselves handled with utter contempt in the confront of our ongoing efforts. Numerous of our range are now embarking on what may well verify to be the to start with in a series of industrial actions. There is no doubt that many others will stick to match, really should your govt are unsuccessful to tackle the profound lack of funding offered by the Scottish Authorized Assist Board.

Even though other professions have been offered with acceptable remuneration in excess of the final 20 yrs, prison legal assist solicitors have not gained a substantial enhance considering the fact that 1999. As a immediate outcome of continued underfunding by the Scottish Governing administration, the profession is now on it can be knees. Less graduates are entering the career and extra experienced practitioners are leaving than ever prior to. 

It is usually explained that the cornerstone of Scottish justice is the suitable to a good demo. Criminal defence solicitors perform a essential element in preserving that appropriate.  That is no question why we are designated as “essential personnel” by your govt. It appears nevertheless that we are not regarded as adequately “important”, to be supplied with sufficient economic assistance.

Browse extra: Lawyers left ‘disappointed’ immediately after legal aid rise rejected

I reach out in the hope that you and your federal government will heed this. I access out in the hope that you and your authorities will supply a lifeline to the career. I arrive at out on behalf of all folks in modern society who require both of those our providers and security.

I await your response.


Yours sincerely,

Stuart Murray

President of Aberdeen Bar Affiliation | Newsphere by AF themes.