Letter: An open plea to justice secretary Humza Yousaf

I produce on behalf of the members of the Aberdeen Bar Association but in support of all criminal legal assist practitioners.  I generate to inform you of the impending demise of an complete job.

All through the present pandemic, we have viewed with no compact degree of respect, all those others who have positioned them selves at possibility in purchase to permit society to proceed to function. There are many who have carried out so but I refer in unique to health professionals, nurses and teachers. They have labored tirelessly to assure that community expert services carry on to be furnished in what are obviously, unparalleled occasions.

Furthermore, we as a occupation, alongside with personnel of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Company, have ensured the sleek working of the justice system, through the pandemic. 

Read through a lot more: Lawyers acquire motion after Scottish Federal government refuse to raise authorized assist

It is a real truth that we take pride in supporting people customers of culture who want our expert services.

It is with deep regret consequently that we as a job come across ourselves addressed with utter contempt in the experience of our ongoing attempts. Many of our quantity are now embarking on what may well establish to be the to start with in a collection of industrial steps. There is no doubt that other people will comply with go well with, need to your govt fail to address the profound deficiency of funding presented by the Scottish Authorized Support Board.

While other professions have been furnished with ideal remuneration around the last 20 years, criminal lawful support solicitors have not obtained a considerable maximize given that 1999. As a direct result of ongoing underfunding by the Scottish Federal government, the profession is now on it can be knees. Fewer graduates are entering the job and a lot more skilled practitioners are leaving than at any time in advance of. 

It is typically mentioned that the cornerstone of Scottish justice is the ideal to a truthful demo. Legal defence solicitors enjoy a important section in preserving that correct.  That is no doubt why we are designated as “important workers” by your governing administration. It seems nevertheless that we are not considered adequately “key”, to be presented with suitable economical assist.

Read much more: Lawyers left ‘disappointed’ right after legal aid increase turned down

I achieve out in the hope that you and your govt will heed this. I get to out in the hope that you and your government will supply a lifeline to the career. I access out on behalf of all people today in culture who call for equally our solutions and defense.

I await your reaction.


Yours sincerely,

Stuart Murray

President of Aberdeen Bar Affiliation