Justice Week 2018 was introduced this year to more effectively raise the alarm on the crisis in our publicly funded justice system, and most significantly the impact of this crisis in giving the most vulnerable in society a fair hearing.
This first Justice Week was intended to provide justice related campaign activity with a platform and focus. To achieve this, we, the Bar Council, wanted to take stock, to find out what the public think about the justice system ( our omnibus research) and to crunch the numbers and highlight just how much the Government has cut from the Ministry of Justice's budget ( Professor Chalkley's research).
We wanted to get the message out to the public and tell the story of the impact of LASPO and other cuts on those caught up in the justice system. To do this we need to work better with organisations on the front line - the third sector, charities and organisations (like Citizens Advice, legal centres, MIND, Shelter and Gingerbread) - see our cuts film. Justice Week and subsequent justice related campaigning activity now needs to ensure the public understands the importance of justice and the rule of law, and how the state of the justice system impacts on all of us, and not just those using it.
In planning our first Justice Week we have worked with the Law Society, CILEx, the Specialist Bar Associations and the Circuits, to name a few.
By Sam Mercer
Head of Policy, Equality & Diversity and Social Mobility