The Law Society Council yesterday reaffirmed its commitment to direct engagement with the Ministry of Justice on proposed changes to legal aid, ‘in order to secure the best possible deal for members and to ensure continued access to justice’.

In a resolution ahead of next week’s special general meeting, the Society reaffirmed its opposition to the cuts.

The Council also urged the government to reconsider proposals for single fees irrespective of plea, and amend the single national fixed fee for police station work without escape mechanism.

The resolution also endorsed the use of ‘all appropriate resources’ to oppose the planned changes to civil legal aid, in particular plans to restrict access to judicial review and the proposal to introduce a ‘potentially illegal and unworkable’ residency test.

At the meeting, the Council expressed its regret at the proposal for a no-confidence motion at the 17 December SGM.

But it pledged to engage with local law societies and practitioner groups, as well as ‘facilitating the widest possible participation of practitioners’, as it continues to lobby the government.