Lawyers to protest over SNP reforms

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LAWYERS will demonstrate outside the Scottish Parliament building today against proposed changes to the profession.

The Edinburgh Bar Association says it “fears for the future of the Scottish criminal justice system under the stewardship of the SNP government”.

Among the issues being raised are contributions to criminal legal aid, restrictions on access to the Supreme Court, and the possible abolition of the requirement for corroboration to bring a prosecution under Scots law.

The protest will start at 1pm.

This morning, the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee meets to discuss the government’s proposals that accused people with £82 or more disposable income, who are not in prison or held on remand, should contribute to their legal aid bill.

Yesterday, Alison McInnes, Scottish Liberal Democrats justice spokeswoman and committee member, said: “These government reforms are a blunt attack on legal aid.

“They will see working people across the country removed from legal aid entirely, faced instead with the prospect of representing themselves in court.

“The Scottish Liberal Democrats believe in fair access to justice for all. We will be voting against these reforms.”