A survey commissioned by the profession’s major representative bodies to understand what the public thinks about justice, shows that an overwhelming majority think it is as important as health or education. However, the survey also highlights a widespread belief that the justice system is tilted in favour of the wealthy.
The findings of the survey were released ahead of the first Justice Week, a national series of events organised by the Law Society, Bar Council and Chartered Institute for Legal Executives, which begins on Monday.
According to the survey of 2,086 people, more than three-quarters agreed that justice is as important as health of education. A similar figure agreed that people on low incomes should be able to get free legal advice. Nearly two-thirds of respondents would feel uncomfortable dealing with the law and legal processes themselves if they were accused of a crime which could result in a custodial sentence. Only 13% think the state should not have to pay for people’s legal expenses if they are accused of an offence that could land them in prison.
For all types of legal issues listed in the survey, at least half of respondents said they would feel uncomfortable dealing with them without a lawyer. Six in 10 believe people on low incomes are more likely than wealthy people to be convicted of crimes.
Read more: Monidipa Fouzder, Law Gazette, https://is.gd/2lQGg4