Published: 13:00, 28 March 2014 |
Updated: 16:09, 28 March 2014
The Government today has made a 'U'-turn on its Legal Aid reforms by agreeing to suspend its proposed crown court cuts for a year.
But lawyers in Kent have reacted to this news with a mixture of anger, disquiet and dismay - many claiming it's an election ploy.
Top QC Oliver Saxby - chairman of the Kent Bar Mess, said the climbdown by the Ministry of Justice was merely "sticking a very small plaster over one problem while ignoring others".
"The situation remains critical. The cuts to solicitors are swingeing" - Oliver Saxby QC
"The viability of the sort of efficient, good quality, local firms that keep the system going is very much in jeopardy and - as a Mess and as a Chambers - we support their opposition to what seem to be the Government's continued plans.
"Plainly, what the South Eastern Circuit and the CBA have achieved is remarkable - and a testament to their hard work and skill", the QC said.
"Those who conduct Crown Court advocacy should be - and are - very grateful."
Kent's top barristers - who have recently taken part in two days of action -are now planning to meet to discuss the latest Government announcement next Thursday.
The county's solicitors are also angry about the proposals and are planning to demonstrate outside Canterbury magistrates Court next week.
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