Unintended Consequences

Imagine setting a Civil Servant the task of putting together a set of proposals, for reform, which would meet with universal opposition from a united legal profession. The “brief” being to find nobody, when all factors including money are taken into consideration, who can see any potential benefit in them.

I say universal opposition to be completely fair we have heard of 3 supporters. The first a Solicitor firm who have stated an intention to bid, I have spoken to one potential new applicant and there has been a high profile corporate cheerleader. So as near to universal as you can make it.

Think of the potential pitfalls; the occasionally fractious divide between Solicitors and the Bar, the ever present friction between large and small Legal Aid firms, the protectionist concerns of civil and criminal practitioners and the myriad of contrary “stakeholder” interests in the Justice system. Something of a challenge.

And yet that is what the MoJ has achieved in just sort of 8-weeks. They will probably not realise what a historic result this has been.

For me the scale of this feat hit home on Radio 5 Live. As a Tory minister, you know you are in trouble when the Taxpayers Alliance is against you.

I am completing our response today, good luck with yours, which needs to be with them tomorrow

About Author: SP

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