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'We shall be seeking to explain the impact that government cuts have had on our system of justice and what that means for those who are unable to afford legal representation. It is important to highlight the risks which these changes pose to our global reputation for ensuring effective access to justice and upholding the rule of law. The primary beneficiaries of a strong and viable legal aid system are the members of the public who depend upon it, not the practitioners who represent them.
The Bar Council recognises that the legal services sector is not immune from the effects of the current unparalleled financial austerity. We are reviewing the procedures and processes of our criminal justice system and will be identifying the scope for achieving greater efficiency as well as showing how the Bar can continue to make an effective, high quality contribution to the administration of justice.
The Government has recognised that the Bar is a valuable national asset and makes a significant contribution to our economy. But it must ensure that the justice system is genuinely open to all, not least those who are unable to pay for it themselves.'
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