This is not the place upon which to comment in detail on the proposal to reduce legal aid fees and remove some work from the scope of legal aid altogether. It is mainly a matter for public debate – although the government prefers (probably on the advice of the civil service) to categorise it as special pleading by the professions.
However, anyone interested in a calm, objective, independent and sensible response to the current proposals can do no better than to look at the Judicial response to be found here. It is only a pity that the committee (presumably it was a committee) who drafted it are not named. The Judges raise the obvious issues about access to justice and the quality of the service that this country is prepared to afford its citizens who cannot afford their own legal representation. But they also identify a critical point – namely that in the rush to undercut professional fees, the government and the civil service have omitted to properly cost that exercise, so that the proposals – even if enacted in full – are unlikely to save us a single penny.
Meanwhile, those who whinge about the judges being a collection of establishment puppets who are detached from the population and remote from most people’s concerns will be reassured and will doubtless wish to apologise and recant.