Students plan nationwide action against legal aid cuts

Events protesting changes to legal aid to are being planned at university campuses across the country.

Coordinating the action is a group called Students for Legal Aid, which officially launched via Twitter on 6 January, the day on which many criminal lawyers chose to strike in opposition to legal aid cuts. (8 January 2014). 

The group, which labels itself “a network of students committed to fighting to protect legal aid” is planning events at around 12 campuses nationwide, not including multiple events at London universities.

The events will be organised meetings comprised of students and academics with solicitors and barristers working within fields funded by legal aid. Barristers at Garden Court Chambers and Doughty Street Chambers are understood to be involved with the group. It is not yet known when the events will be held.

One of the group’s organisers is Michael Segalov, currently being represented by Geoffrey Robertson QC after being suspended by the University of Sussex following protests against plans to privatise part of the campus.

He said: “Students across the country have been coming together at some of the different demonstrations against legal aid cuts. We realised that there are a huge amount of people on campuses, both students and academics, who are frustrated and angry about the Government’s proposals, as they want to work in areas that are publicly funded in a few years’ time.”

He added: “It is disconcerting to see that the areas we set our sights on three or four years ago may barely exist in the future because they are publicly-funded.”