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Socialist Lawyer Mag

Tuesday
Apr082014

Not In Our Name

Please see below a petition - please email Sam Parham at Garden Court Chambers samp@gclaw.co.uk or contact Sam on twitter @sam_parham if you are a barrister practising in criminal law and would like to be added as a signatory.

PETITION:

'Response to the CBA announcement of 27.3.2014-

NOT IN OUR NAME
‘Divide and rule’ between the professions is not applied in our name.

As individuals, we believe in the highest quality representation for our clients and in unity of action between the professions.  It is only through this united stance that we have been able to come this far and unity remains essential to the preservation of this profession and to the protection of justice.

The breaking of unprecedented unity is not in our name.

Cuts, be they deferred, are not in our name.

Cuts heavily weighted upon solicitors rather than barristers are not in our name. The cuts already imposed are devastating and crippling to all.

We also provide support to solicitors and to the National Association of Probation Officers (NAPO) in their protest action on the 31st March and 1st April 2014.

We further pledge our support to the march from Old Palace Yard, SW1 to the MOJ Headquarters on 1st April from 14:15 (Mr Grayling’s Birthday).

alt : /storage/A%20Call%20to%20Arms-%20Why%20we%20Must%20Hold%20the%20Line.pdf

Download A Call to Arms(pdf).

Thursday
Apr032014

CBA Ballot: Vote Yes

Friday
Mar282014

With or Without the CBA, the Fight Continues

The Haldane Society condemns the decision of the CBA, without reference to its members, to purport to suspend the industrial action taken by criminal barristers against the government's attacks on legal aid.  Criminal barristers within the Haldane Society take the view that it is not for the leadership of the CBA to tell our profession whether or not we will take action in solidarity with our comrades in the solicitors profession, and within the civil bar.  If there is to be any suspension of further action, it should be a decision of the members of the profession taken at a general meeting at which all are free to attend, so that the matter can be discussed openly. 

The concessions offered by Grayling are pitiful in comparison to what we stand to gain by remaining united.  Simply delaying the introduction of certain cuts to barristers' fees is insufficient.  We demand the end to all government cuts to legal aid.  This is achievable.  Mere days ago Grayling described the cuts as being written in stone.  Now they are up for negotiation.  Further action will compel him to compromise further.  We can defeat these cuts.  All we need is solidarity.

Ending this struggle merely because some of our fees are secure plays into the hands of those who would call us fat cats.  This struggle has never merely been about our fees.  It is about access to justice.  This is still under threat from the Grayling cuts.  Our job is to serve the communities for whose rights we fight.  This retreat by the CBA is letting the public down.  Our clients' fights for justice don't stop at the criminal bar: their access to justice will be impeded without solicitors to help them through the gateway to justice, and without civil practitioners to obtain remedies for injustices done, and to challenge unlawful government decisions.  To truly win, we must stand firm, in solidarity with comrades throughout the legal profession and beyond. 

The Haldane Society continues to support the action to be taken on 31 March and 1 April by the solicitors profession and probation workers.  We also continue to support any and all action against the cuts, including further withdrawal of labour by barristers.

The fight continues.  If the CBA will not lead it, then someone else will.

Monday
Mar242014

CHD lawyers released from custody in Turkey

The Haldane Society of Sociialist Lawyers welcomes the release, on 21 March 2014, of lawyers in Turkey, members of our sister organisation CHD, after 14 months of detention facing unjust charges. We reproduce below the speech of their President, our comrade, Selcuk Kozagacli.

 

Slogans: "The revolutionary lawyers are our honor", "The CHD did not remain silent, it won't remain silent".

 

Selcuk Kozagacli: "Thanks, thanks for all. In these 14 months we never felt alone, not even for a moment. We were so glad, that there were so many people, such a big support. We couldn't imagine. What a big family we are, what a big solidarity.

We didn't recognize the prison sentence at all. For us, this was neither imprisonment and nor did we demand our release. We didn't recognize at all, that it was a court, that put us in jail. And we didn't even accept that the decision was an imprisonment. We never asked for release.

As absurd the decision was, which they called imprisonment, as absurd was the decision they called release. There's no seriosity at all.

It has nothing to do with justice, right or law to release a part of the prisoners, while there are still so many prisoners, so many victimized people, so many revolutionary and political prisoners inside.

Don't think, that I say this to speak bad about those, who released us...

We don't believe that we were charged and that we remained in prison.

We were kidnapped by our enemies and locked into this building (shows to the prison complex behind him) by armed force. And now we have found a way out - thanks to our friend, thanks to our comrades, thanks to all, who had supported us - we went in front of that door.

We'll see, how it will develop. Nobody from us could be intimidated, we didn't fear at all, we bounced back, weren't sad at all. We're fine. We will now continue from an even advanced point. Again, thanks a lot. We once again embrace all of you."

 

Slogans: "Down with fascism, long live our struggle"

 

Monday
Mar172014

Feminist Lawyers Launch Event

The Haldane Society invites you to our feminist lawyers launch event.

26th March 2014, 6.30pm onwards

at the London Action Resource Centre, 62 Fieldgate St, London, E1 1ES
(near Whitechapel Station)

Free (Suggested Donation £2)

A social event for women and allies to share personal experiences of being involved in the legal system, studying the law, or campaigning for justice, and the particular challenges for women.

Come join us and voice your opinion in a group discussion on:

  • Fighting sexism in legal practice;
  • Coming together to build a more progressive, woman-friendly, and socialist profession;
  • Supporting one another in a profession marked by inequality and threatened by unprecedented legal aid cuts.

Refreshments will be available.

Contact feminism@haldane.org for details.