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By Tom Laidlaw
As I finish another year of judging the entries to the AG's Student Pro Bono Awards I am, as I have been for the last four years, amazed and heartened by the ingenuity and dedication of students, staff and law schools in delivering legal services to their local populations.
This year, the Awards took place against the backdrop of all of the cuts to legal aid and the changes to legal services being wrought by those cuts and the arrival of ABSs. This got me to thinking: what if the strikes and demonstrations and newspaper column inches DON'T stop the cuts? Where do we go from there? Do the various actors in the justice system pack up and go home to leave the victims, defendants, witnesses and court staff to just get on with it as best they can?
Or does someone sit down and think – how can we deliver effective representation and support to those who need it, in particular by providing them with access to a system that still uses quality independent advocates within the proposed fee structure?
This led me to ask another question aimed at criminal barristers and those who want to join the criminal Bar?
What is it that M
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