Finally, Justice for the 96

I have achieved very little productive work today as I have been following the outcome of the Hillsborough inquest. There are so many compelling reasons for this; general human compassion, the solidarity of a fellow football fan and now as a keen observer of the operation of the justice system, are but a few.

Today the 96 have justice, albeit that access to it has been denied for 27 years and was only achieved following years of dogged, against-all-odds, grassroots campaigning. At every stage this campaign came up against every conceivable obstruction from the establishment and right from the very top.

The culmination of this process, an unprecedented 2-year inquest, demonstrates another factor essential to justice – access to quality legal representation. It is of course of no surprise to our readers that 2 of the key participants, BJC and Mark George QC are committed legal aid suppliers. Indeed I suspect that they would not disagree with the suggestion that the skills they have so admirably deployed in this case have largely been honed in the publicly funded arena. Without a comprehensive Legal Aid scheme we will cease to nurture the professionals central to the delivery of justice.

In addition to its inherent value today’s victory, for justice, speaks powerfully to the need properly to fund access to it.

About Author: SP

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