I note with alarm that Minister for Justice, Mr David Ford MLA, is suggesting that solicitors be allowed to appear in the High Court or the Court of Appeal.
As a practicing barrister, I believe that while this may coincide with some superannuated civil service review, it breaches my inalienable, long established right to cream off as much legal aid as one humanly can within one’s lifetime.
I am sure that Mr Ford is working to ensure that criminals, sorry I meant clients, will be able to access a range of legal services. For goodness sake, how can a solicitor, who can earn money ‘conveyancing’ as well as doing ‘proper’ legal work hope to provide a better and more robust case than us who need to recoup the cost of a silly cape and wig.
We barristers have very little steady income to rely on, and if Mr Ford has his way there will be even less for the high court to contend with in the event of reduced criminality and better community justice. If it keeps going this way, then I shall have to sell the second holiday home and renege on my membership of the yacht club and reduce my golfing to just three times a week.
PS – I know that the Government in London has said there will be no more ‘Saville-type’ inquiries, but can we please, please have at least one big one to keep the pension pot alive?