Michael Gove made his first speech as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice last month. In his statement he made references to the fact that the justice system is failing society’s poorest and that the best legal provision was the preserve of the wealthy.
He outlined that he was seeking a £700,000,000.00 investment in the Courts to make better use of technology and to speed up Trial procedures. He also explained that he would review the Legal Aid system amid criticism made previously.
Mr Gove acknowledged that the people most let down by our justice system are those who take part in it through no fault or desire of their own, they are victims.
Notwithstanding the fact that the majority of Lord Chancellor’s statement related to reform of the Criminal Court it is hoped that if Legal Aid is reviewed and the court system in general that this may lead to improvements for clinical negligence litigation.
Since the removal of Legal Aid for the majority of clinical negligence cases it was reassuring that the amount of pro bono work that we and other firms do was acknowledged and it is accepted that nearly half of all solicitors in private practice average more than 50 hours per year.
It is perhaps too early to tell how the new Lord Chancellor is going to perform and whether his appointment is going to assist “everyday victims” as he has outlined and at the present time all we can do is hope.