Mark George QC's response to second legal aid "consultation"

Mark George QC's response to second legal aid "consultation"


Mark George QC is a criminal silk whose practice is predominantly criminal legal aid work. He was recently appointed Head of Chambers at Garden Court North in Manchester.

Mark kindly offered us a chance to publish his personal response to the latest consultation.

Readers may remember the activity on Twitter earlier in the year regarding the first consultation. There were some 16,000 written responses to the government’s proposals to radically alter the legal aid system in England and Wales. Following those responses, the plans for Price Competitive Tendering were dropped. Sadly, but unsurprisingly, the plans to decimate legal aid and severely curtail access to justice survive.

Please take the time to read Mark’s consultation response. It neatly and clearly cuts through many issues sets straight some lies peddled by the MoJ in relation to ‘fat cat lawyers’.

And if you haven’t yet responded, you have until the end of the day to do so, here.

Mark’s response

A Response to Chapter 4 of the Government Next Steps consultation doc.

Lyndon is the General Editor of Current Sentencing Practice and the Criminal Appeal Reports (Sentencing)


  1. A rather haunting cry in the dark. Well done Lyndon for posting this, and thank you to Mark for giving voice to the feelings of so many, both in and out of the profession. This isn’t (just) a battle for self-preservation; these plans are a carefully guided time-bomb aimed at the heart of the justice system, and society as a whole will be the big loser.

    Mr Grayling seems to have very quickly forgotten his Oath of Office…

  2. And for those who may not immediately recall what it was he swore to do, here it is:
    “I do swear that in the office of Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain I will respect the rule of law, defend the independence of the judiciary and discharge my duty to ensure the provision of resources for the efficient and effective support of the courts for which I am responsible. So help me God.”

  3. I’ve haven’t read the response yet and not that familiar with the proposals but as a member of the public it feels like the law and justice which was out of reach but with provision there in the case of a criminal allegation is about to become as remote a prospect as a poor man (or woman) pursuing a libel case not even an impossible dream, not a dream and no possibility.

  4. I would like to believe that every accused person should have the same given right and chance to clear there name in which ever court is suitable regardless of how the Financail costs are met, understandably legal aid costs the country billions,and in a ideal world we would believe that all the legal teams work within the correct ethics of the vows they take but we do not live in such idealism (corruption has be proven amongst all Levels of power ) why would be put our trust in all lawyers if the temptation of higher earnings of a guilty plea for seemingly simple crimes (the ones used in the article ) may encourage the inappropriate guilty plea been given,also as we are talking overall bout saving millions surely the hit will eventually take its toll on the already overcrowded prions as surely those that are innocently accused whom may previously hold conviction will be delt with with custodial sentences for reoffending even when innocent just to keep of legal aid costs down especially for those who are seen as reoffending individuals… And lets face hard Facts would those in a position to pay legal costs be faced with the same advice ?? Something screams no ..

  5. What a load of self serving twaddle. The legal system is costing billions and nowhere is there anything that reflects the reality of that. My heart bleeds that after VAT a newly qualified barrister is only on £40,000 poor thing. Much better to go down the American route and have a public defender rather then legal aid and stop private law firms of solicitors and barristers sucking up yet more tax payers money.