Law Society Legal News Summary 11 May 2022

Queen's speech: Bill of Rights 

There is widespread coverage of the government's legislative agenda announced in yesterday's Queen's speech. 

The Guardian, Gazette, The LawyerHead TopicsBusiness FastInside ConveyancingBusiness Mayor and World Socialist carry our concerns about the Bill of Rights, noting that Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce criticised the planned bill, warning: "If the new bill of rights becomes law, it would make it harder for all of us to protect or enforce our rights. 

"The proposed changes make the state less accountable. This undermines a crucial element of the rule of law, preventing people from challenging illegitimate uses of power." 

Our head of public law Ellie Cumbo explained to LBC (link to follow) about why rolling back rights protections in the Human Rights Act would be bad for all of us. The interview also touched on the Nationality and Borders Bill and plans to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda. 

Rolling coverage of the Queen's speech, such as MSN, carries human rights committee chair Sue Willman's comments on the Bill of Rights. 

The Independent and 20+ local media outlets, including Whitchurch Herald and Telegraph and Argus, carry our comments on the Public Order Bill, quoting Stephanie saying: "If the government is serious about tackling crime it must implement the recommended 15% increase in criminal legal aid fees to ensure the survival of a functioning criminal justice system." 

Read our press release

Government attacks on lawyers 

Law Society council member and interim chair of our policy and regulatory committee Jonathan Goldsmith writes in the Gazette about the tensions between government and lawyers.

Mental health awareness 

International Employment Lawyer (free, but account required), Eastern EyePakistan WeeklyAsian Times and Legal Cheek report that we are working with LawCare and calling for a 'change of culture' to fix the legal profession's mental health crisis. 

LawCare's Life in the Law report revealed that 69% of lawyers experienced poor mental health in the last year. 

Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce said "We need to start talking about how some working practices contribute to an increased risk of poor mental health and how we can work together to change things. 

"Tackling excessive working hours and workloads, as well as ensuring better supervision and support, especially for younger lawyers, are essential." 

Read our press release

Also worth a read: 

  • Cost of living crisis warning- BBC
  • Rwanda threat harming asylum seekers' health - Guardian
  • Trump twitter ban – FT (£)
  • Brexit effect on the profession – Gazette feature
  • Fixed costs extension in April 2023 - Gazette

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