Side note: I'm in a national debating competition this weekend! :D
Concerning: Mrs. Annette Cowell
Dear Mrs. Cowell and the Ministry of Justice,
My name is Charli. I did respond to the first consultation, and a few things have changed since then, both in my life, and in yours. I am now 13 years old, I have decided I want to be a barrister, and I, as I did before, run my political/law/campaign blog, Little Girl With The Big Mouth, which you can find at thatgirlwholikespolitics.blogspot.com. As before, I can’t say that I fully understand all of the questions in the consultation, and perhaps my answers may come across slightly immature, but please bare in mind the fact that I am 13 years old, and it’s rather impressive that I can campaign for such a topic and write a consultation response (if I do say so myself).
Naturally, I still don’t agree fully with the proposed model. I’ve written so many posts, so many opinions, that I don’t see the proposals through rose-tinted glasses, though I can’t say I ever did.
“This would retain the same level of choice for clients seeking criminal legal aid as now”. I can’t say that this is particularly correct. Shouldn’t there be more? Perhaps it is ok now, perhaps the earlier proposals may have made it worse, but maybe there should be more. I believe that every client should have true freedom of choice in their own rights. Perhaps I am wrong.
The fact that you’ve suddenly changed your tune on prices is funny, though good. I’m being fair here, because naturally, you’ll never be right, because you don’t actually listen to what the people who know best, the lawyers, solicitors etc of the country, say. No matter what you do or say, you at the MoJ are not lawyers. Maybe you know the law back to front, maybe you think you know what people want. But you are not in the law profession… You are in politics. They are linked, but they are not the same. And, no, I am not a lawyer, neither, but I don’t dispute not understanding what is going on within the profession. If anything, I appear to understand more.
I don’t agree with this “determining” how many contracts for Duty Provider Work go out. We go back to what we said only a few months ago- It. Is. Not. Fair. Granted, I may have misunderstood you slightly, but the terms you propose really don’t appear fair. In all honesty, it doesn’t look like you look at statistics of how many people use legal aid and what is needed for this country to function!
I definitely don’t agree that you have “correctly identified the extent of impact under these proposals”! Did you even read the first set of responses? We’ve written about the impact; all of us: barristers, solicitors, judges… schoolgirls, badgers! We’ve said so much about how much these proposals will affect us, but it doesn’t appear that you have realised that. If you had, the proposals wouldn’t even exist. I, naturally, am mainly fighting for the next generation- my generation- because what you want to introduce could, and will, ruin justice and legal aid for those who need it, in the current and next generations, as well as many to come.
Following on from my next point, I will reference to something that will come across as slightly strange, to you. Apart from being an academic, law/politics blogger, I am also a book worm and book blogger. One trend, that I rather enjoy, in the YA (Young Adult) book world is dystopia. Dystopia- if you didn’t know- is a term for a book talking about a horrific future because of something that has happened. Examples you may have heard of are The Hunger Games and Divergent. The Hunger Games is because of fights. Divergent is because of disagreements in society. Now, I don’t want to live in a slightly dystopic world because there is no justice, no legal aid. Because, let’s all be grown up here, there isn’t really a Batman, Superman or Spiderman. We can’t click our fingers and come to justice. That just isn’t how it works. And, as an individual, as a young girl, I am honestly scared for what impact your proposals could really have on the UK.
A lot of this may seem like rubbish. A lot of it may be my misunderstanding and will be wrong. But maybe it isn’t. Maybe, you should see your own proposals through others’ eyes, perhaps a young girl’s who is concerned for her generation. And who am I kidding; you probably won’t even read this, you’ll pass over it as a young girl being silly, thinking she understands something. I am also sorry that I come across as slightly sarcastic throughout my response; I am not normally like this to my elders, but within the circumstances of this response, of this fight, I think that it is fine for me to get my point across in such a fashion.
Should you want to ask me about anything to do with this response, you may contact me at charli-toanotherworld(at)outlook(dot)com, but depending, you may or may not receive an answer.
Thank you for reading my views, if you actually did.
The Little Girl With The Big Mouth (Currently campaigning with Save UK Justice)
Comments would be welcome guys! You can now comment without a google profile :)