Tory manifesto: Legal aid doesn’t get a look-in… apart from pledge to ‘restrict’ it in cases against the armed forces

A pop at Leigh Day?

The Conservative Party has released its eagerly-awaited manifesto today. Sometimes what you don’t say is just as important as what you do say.

In the 88-page document, there is no mention of legal aid apart from this one:

We will… restrict legal aid for unscrupulous law firms that issue vexatious legal claims against the armed forces.

Falling under the heading ‘The finest servicemen and women’, we wonder whether this manifesto pledge has been born out of recent proceedings against Phil Shiner and Leigh Day.

Termed an “ambulance chasing” lawyer by the press, Shiner was struck off earlier this year over charges of dishonesty. Among other things, he was found to have paid a middleman in Iraq to seek out human rights abuse claims for him to bring against the Ministry of Defence.

Disciplinary action against Leigh Day and three of its lawyers is still ongoing. The charges — in the words of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) barrister Timothy Dutton QC — relate to “allegations [by the firm] that soldiers in the British army had murdered, tortured and mutilated innocent Iraqi civilians. The allegations were false, and should never have been advanced in public.”

The case is forecasted to be the longest and most expensive in the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal’s (SDT) history.

On legal aid, it’s worth comparing the Tories and Labour here. In their manifesto, Jeremy Corbyn and co state that “justice today has become the preserve of the rich”, before adding:

Labour will immediately re-establish early advice entitlements in the family courts… We will reintroduce funding for the preparation of judicial review cases… We will review the legal aid means tests, including the capital test for those on income-related benefits.

Other key justice snippets from the Conservative manifesto — which can be read in full below — include: “we will continue to modernise our courts”. The Prisons and Courts Bill, part of the government’s bid to transform the justice system, was abandoned in the run up to this June’s general election.

In addition, the manifesto states that the Human Rights Act will not be repealed or replaced “while the process of Brexit is underway.” However, this position will be reconsidered post-EU withdrawal. There is a PS: “We will remain signatories to the European Convention of Human Rights for the duration of the next parliament.”

Read the manifesto in full here:

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25 Comments

Dublin BL

Interesting that the Tory pledge to repeal and replace the Human Rights Act has been placed on the back burner. If Brexit does not bring about the disintegration of the United Kingdom (which it almost certainly will), then repealing the Human Rights Act undoubtedly will.

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Dublin BL

No. But it will however be a violation of international law, a breach of the Good Friday Agreement and inevitably lead to a Border Poll at a time when the political and economic conditions for the reunification of the Island could not be more favorable.

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Anonymous

“inevitably lead to a Border Poll at a time when the political and economic conditions for the reunification of the Island could not be more favorable.”

And yet support for a the North joining the Republic is still below 50%.

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Anonymous

“inevitably lead to a Border Poll at a time when the political and economic conditions for the reunification of the Island could not be more favorable.”

And yet support for the North joining the Republic is still below 50%…

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Air Hair Lair

The UN are concerned by the increasingly far right tendancy of this regime- the rule of law, human rights, environment abuse, privacy, racial hatred attacks without calls for peace, inflammatory News headlines, the impartiality of our State Broadcaster etc- that’s the UN looking across at Britain, our beloved homeland, and saying ‘what the fuck are the Tories doing?!’

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Air Hair Lair

Ok , we should all suck it up ‘we’ are losing.. But unless your wealth is going to protect you from the coming full on right wing consolidation, you will be fully included on the losing side.
Don’t you think governments should respect law and human rights protection? Don’t you have people close to you that need the NHS, or social care?
In response to the guy who thinks I’m making it up, it’s all researchable if you have access to tinternet. I’m not here to perpetrate fake news, I’m here to take votes away from the Tories.
My wish, in the absence of strong opposition, is a hung parliament.
If the Tories get a majority, it aint over. Hopefully Corbyn will have to quit.
May will fail when Brexit causes an economic crash, so we wait for her to fall on her sword.

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Anonymous

That stuff about the UN seems like bollocks.

Except I can see why anyone would get upset with a country that insists on an impartial state broadcaster. It’s outrageous that the BBC is even-handed and informative. A true scandal.

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Anonymous

Makes sense. If we all vote Labour, the country will be bankrupted so fast there will be no money for legal aid. Or courts, for that matter. So, in a sense, everyone will have equal access to justice…

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Air Hair Lair

Anything Labour suggest sounds more sane than Tory, until you get to the almost identical Brexit policy.
Thats the reason Labour could bankrupt us, just like Tories will.

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Pantman

I like the pledge on the ending of free school dinners for under fives. That’s really got to be a vote winner, and an essential ingredient of a Tory manifesto.

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Air Hair Lair

Government of the Kippers, for the Kippers, by the Kippers. Ukip votes count higher than pensioners, parents,
Professionals, academics , business.
Setting fire to all their former key voters, and I walk into the builder’s merchants, the boss says ‘I’m sticking with Theresa May!’

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Anonymous

Why is the thumbnail a picture of May orgasming? Could you not have chosen a more appropriate and professional picture? How immature are you Katie, jesus christ.

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Air Hair Lair

My pro Tory inlaws today told us the new Social Care proposals were going to benefit them .
The Government proposes to make anyone who owns a house pay for their care when they are elderly. The equity of the house is to be spent, leaving 100k safe for inheritance. My understanding is that this deal is available if you have insurance to cover this. The premiums will be taken from the equity in the house. The premiums won’t be capped, the equity will be gone.
The Mail and Express are selling this as a good thing.
The standard of education is not good in my area.

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