Lunch with a QC and a Chris Grayling mug were just two of the lots on offer.
Fancy lunch with Michael Mansfield QC? Too late. The offer was part of an auction that raised more than £8,000 towards the cost of judicial review of lord chancellor Chris Grayling’s criminal legal aid reforms.
JR hearings over the legal aid crime duty tender process will take place in the High Court on Thursday and Friday after the Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association and London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association lodged an application last month.
The final bids and winners in the auction were announced yesterday. The highest bid of £1,400 was made for lot 16 – one week in a six-bedroom villa in Italy on the Adriatic Coast.
Other lots (and winning bids) included the original Borsok the Badger doll (£200), dinner with CLSA chair Bill Waddington (£250), a signed copy of the Sexual Offences Handbook (£150), a day on the set of Kay Mellor’s new drama, The Syndicate (£800) and a Grayling mug (£30). Lunch with Mansfield (pictured) went for £340.
LCCSA president Jonathan Black said the auction demonstrated how strongly criminal lawyers felt about the assault on their practices and on access to justice as a whole, and ‘while the legal teams and committees of the association were working flat out on the skeleton arguments this weekend, our colleagues were generously bidding for items largely donated by other colleagues to raise funds for the all-important judicial review’.
Among the most popular items, Black said, was a Martin Rowson original cartoon featuring Grayling and justice minister Simon Hughes, ‘fitting in a week where we learned how important it is to appreciate the art of satire’.
The auction was organised by members of the profession supporting the JR.
The Law Society, which has offered financial support to the CLSA and LCCSA, has also pursued its own challenge to the tender process, which will be heard alongside that of the practitioner groups.