Bar Council announces 'Legal Aid Question Time'

29 May 2013

The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, is hosting a 'Legal Aid Question Time' debate in Westminster to give a range of interested individuals and groups the chance to have their say on the proposed legal aid changes.

The debate, which takes place on the evening of Tuesday 18 June, chaired by legal commentator, Joshua Rozenberg, will see questions put to a panel comprising representatives from the Government, Opposition and practitioner groups.

Panelists announced so far include:

  • Lord McNally, Minister of State for Justice, responsible for legal aid
  • Andy Slaughter MP, Shadow Justice Minister
  • Steve Hynes, Director, Legal Action Group, and
  • Maura McGowan QC, Chairman of the Bar.

The event will be held shortly after responses have been submitted to the Ministry of Justice'sTransforming Legal Aid consultation, with the Government expected to announce its final plans in the autumn.

Maura McGowan QC, Chairman of the Bar, said:

"Such dramatic changes to the justice system, including extensive cuts to civil and criminal legal aid, will result in irreversible damage to our justice system. We are moving towards a system where price, rather than quality, dictates the type of justice which is available to the British public. We believe in equal justice for all.

"We must fight for our views to be heard. That is why the Bar Council is hosting this debate, which will provide a perfect platform to hold the Government to account and hear what the Opposition would do differently." 


Notes to Editors:

1. The debate will take place on Tuesday 18 June, 18:30 - 19:30, at Church House, Harvey Goodwin Suite, Dean's Yard , London SW1P 3NZ. Registration starts at 18:00. For full details please click here.

2. To apply for a place in the audience, please . Note however, that it is a ticket-only event and places will be allocated to ensure that the audience represents a cross-section of interested parties.

3. Please email:  to submit your question for the panel, and join the debate live on twitter, using #legalaidqt.

4. For further information, please contact the  Bar Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525 or

5. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and Wales. It promotes: 

  • The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory services

  • Fair access to justice for all

  • The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity across the profession, and

  • The development of business opportunities for barristers at home and abroad. 

The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions through the independent Bar Standards Board.