Commenting on today’s report from the Justice Select Committee, Amanda Pinto QC, Chair of the Bar Council, said:

“Will the Government accept the reality of the parlous state of the justice system now that it is articulated by Sir Bob Neill MP and other eminent Parliamentarians?  The justice system was withering before Covid-19 and its weakened body is now so poorly that, if it isn’t given a life-saving injection, it will not recover.

“The Justice Committee’s made many constructive recommendations, including enabling the most junior, struggling barristers to benefit from the Self Employed Income Support Scheme by providing reliable evidence other than tax returns. Importantly, the Committee recognises Covid-19’s disproportionate impact on BAME and state-educated legal professionals. The MoJ must take action, or it will leave us with a legal profession and future judiciary which is unrepresentative of society - and all the poorer for that. We do not doubt that the necessary support and investment can be found. We know the budget exists. The Lord Chancellor said he is working hard to help. If he fails, justice will regress to society’s detriment.”