If @scotgov @HumzaYousaf support #ActivistLawyers then @scotgov needs to help fund trainee places in defence, if it is not to become extinct- the profession is not asking for much, 1st yr trainee 19.5k salary- around £10/hr for a 40 hr week - a thread on justice in 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 1/24👇🏽
At the the last recruitment round at the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service saw 16 trainees taken on. They receive a salary of £19,295 for their first year of training and £22,500 for their 2nd year.
Access 2justice is a fundamental pillar of our society yet #COVID19 has dealt a blow 2an already failing legal system, pushing some solicitors’ firms to the brink of financial ruin. It is unacceptable that law centres are each yr left fighting for crumbs glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18688242.…
Figures from Scottish Legal Aid Board show that there has been 16% drop in fees paid to solicitors in the 26-week period from the start of March to the end of August 2020 as compared with 2019 – a decline of £6.5 million.
We are not talking about funding trainees in corporate firms, the local authorities, the legal aid board with Public Defenders but in small criminal firms & law centres who deal with the most vulnerable, minorities & often the poorest in society
In 2018 Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service took on 140 extra permanent staff following increase in funding.
including 60 more lawyers, will employed in Scottish Fatalities Investigations Unit, National Sexual Crimes Unit & Victim Info & Advice. google.co.uk/amp/s/www.edin…
It is shameful that funding is repeatedly refused 4families in FAIs fighting the prison service, police & Crown Office, the “unlevel playing field” & “inequality of arms” will only get worse as we go backwards, b4 #Covid some waited up to 8yrs for FAIs scottishlegal.com/article/stagge…
During #BlackLivesMatter debate an impassioned plea was made in parliament 4greater diversity including our legal system, unless funding is forthcoming then any chances of opening profession to diversity, to BAME, to those from deprived background is zero scottishlegal.com/article/stagge…
Since the start of the pandemic we were treated as frontline workers & expected to risk our lives with little or no protection from the virus, to keep the courts running, many of us work well beyond a 60 hour week, a significant proportion of what we do is unpaid
We worry about our clients, but also our families, yet the response of the courts is to suggest they open on Saturdays, of course staff from the Crown, Police & Courts will be renumerated whilst we will not, never mind the physical or mental toll scottishlegal.com/article/overbu…
As a profession we face decimation & whilst we unite to condemn Tory attacks on #ActivistLawyers the reality in Scotland for defence lawyers is no different to the financial devastation being wreaked on the criminal bar by the Government in England & Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿
From East Lothian 2Dumfries & from Oban to Thurso there is not a single solicitor under the age of 30 registered 2provide legal aid of any kind & more than a 1/4 of practitioners have left the profession since 2011- imagine if those figures were replicated in nursing or policing
In the last decade in the UK we have seen the largest reduction in legal aid per head in Europe. In 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿despite a 30% increase in High Court cases since 2014-15, it’s not reflected in the legal aid system; payments 2solicitor advocates for same period have reduced by 18%.
Despite there being a 30% increase in the number of High Court cases since 2014-15, has not been reflected in the legal aid system; payments to solicitor advocates for the same period have reduced by 18%. thetimes.co.uk/article/scotti…
Similarly, despite an increase of 6% in the number of civil cases initiated at Sheriff Court level between 2014-15 and 2018-19, payments to solicitors for civil work have decreased by 7% and to solicitor advocates by 47% over the same period.
Our Legal Aid System is broken & in crisis because of funding cuts, with fewer people than ever before having access to justice. A “hostile” culture favours rejecting funding applications which means the public struggle to get the legal representation they need.
If @scotgov & the Scottish Legal Aid Board do not watch, criminal firms will be closing shortly, unable to survive, to pay staff, to work 7 days a week, whilst begging for weeks on end with Legal Aid Board not to make abatements to accounts for work actually done.
As a profession we are exhausted & demoralised, but what worries those of us who fight for justice is a future profession without young lawyers, this will decimate our profession & the very ground rock of justice, in 5 years our profession will be over 55, all white
We will rapidly reach a point that there are no criminal law firms in part of Scotland / then what? public prosecutors funded on the cheap- we know what that means in the 🇺🇸 plea deals, lack of justice where the poorest & minorities suffer injustice in the name of profit & cuts
The huge backlog of cases under #COVID19 cannot be cleared without lawyers 2service it. That the backlog continues 2grow but is incapable of being reconciled with legal aid lawyers who disappear each month- 1/4 of lawyers remain furloughed, many may have no jobs 2return to Nov
We tire of the attacks on us as fat cat lawyers, tabloid stories claiming legal aid is given to criminals, they never apportion costs to lawyers, advocates, photo copying, experts, travel, office & admin costs or tell us how much a prosecution costs, or what their alternative is
The Tory Govt failed 2protect the vulnerable in this crisis, including refugees, migrants, those in detention,workers, the homeless, renters from financial hardship & now prepares to take us out of the ECHR- but human rights are also abused by an underfunded defence in 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Years of cuts have harmed the most vulnerable in society in their pursuit of justice but as #ActivistLawyers we are vital in holding Governments & powerful institutions 2account on issues critical to our future, including the fight against climate change or a racist home office
We need you @HumzaYousaf to act now, we appreciate money is tight, but there is a fund that might be a drop in the ocean but could help produce a future generation of #ActivistLawyers before it is too late

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More from @AamerAnwar

25 Sep
As former Rector @UofGlasgow a thread on Universities shambles👇🏽 far too desperate for income from ‘cash cow’ students, exploitative rents, international fees, fill the halls but what were the contingency plans to keep them safe until it was too late? universities-scotland.ac.uk/preventing-spr…
Throughout universities- building occupancy & congestion levels are monitored & one way systems but what is happening in halls (often private) where several hundred students are housed- what about their health & well being? Where is 24/7 infection control as you pack them?
With nearly all classes online, forcing students to matriculate it smacks of treating them as “cashcows’, it is perverse to sign them up to Halls where up to 12 students can share block, telling them to study remotely, not go home whilst mixing in a giant Petri dish 4 #COVID19 Image
Read 11 tweets
16 Sep
This article is sheer fantasy- once again anonymous ‘sources’ speculating on a Public Inquiry that the family have fought 5 years for into the death in police custody of #ShekuBayoh but the usual suspects are frightened of ‘race’ being investigated Image
Had they bothered to print the full response from the Scottish Government they would have known the story was ‘garbage’, but don’t let that stand in the way of a sensational fantasy- as for race👇🏽 bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotla…
FACT #BlackLivesMatter don’t have a key role as advisers to Lord Bracadale but Bayoh family aware that usual suspects have fought for ‘race’ not to be investigated as they believe there is no such thing as institutional racism in Scotland, meanwhile 👇🏽bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotla…
Read 4 tweets
3 Sep
Hysterical reaction & dangerous attempt by Tories to try & impose Pseudo-Science of “lie-detectors” on Scotland’s independent justice system - @HumzaYousaf is right to say no to the use of 'Jeremy Kyle' polygraph tests” - A thread on use of tests 1/22 Image
John Larson invented the polygraph in 1921 as a medical student at the University of California, Berkeley and a police officer of the Berkeley Police Department in Berkeley, California
Larson was concerned that the polygraph never matured into anything beyond a “glorified stress-detector” & referred to it as “Frankenstein’s monster” also known as a “lie-detector” which he spent over 40 years combating after inventing it! -
Read 22 tweets
27 Jun
As details emerge of #ParkInn with a police officer critically injured & 5 others still in hospital -the true picture is of dehumanising & humiliation of vulnerable, frightened asylum seekers housed in hotels during #COVID19 by Mears given a £1 Billion contract in 2019-thread👇🏽
During a media briefing organised by Mears on Thursday, its chief operating officer said a “blanket decision” was made in late March to move people into hotels, & no assessments were carried out of individual needs before people were transferred independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-n…
Mears with its £1 Billion contract from Home Office to manage asylum housing admitted to MPs it failed 2carry out assessments b4 placing trafficking victims, pregnant women & children in accommodation that put them at risk – then backtracked on the statement hrs later.
Read 8 tweets
20 Jun
A thread, for all those all those who turned out today to stand against Racism & Fascism- Thank you what a beautiful response, Thank you for making true the slogan #PeopleMakeGlasgow #BlackLivesMatter Image
In recent days there were those who tried to say there is a moral equivalence between far-right racist thugs & peaceful anti-racists- that was abhorrent & grotesque pandering to racism- We have a proud tradition of no platform 4fascism in Glasgow & 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Image
The message to @policescotland was simple if you don’t do your job, then as a community we cannot allow fascism to take a foothold in our city- in a civilised democracy they can never be allowed neutrality on racism or Fascism Image
Read 7 tweets
15 Jun
The Independent Advisory Group which @johndscott QC, myself, @tressaburke & others are on monitors & reviews @policescotland use or abuse of emergency #Coronavirus powers & have launched an online portal to enable the public to record their views: covid19iag.citizenspace.com Image
Please share the portal or you can email the Independent Advisory Group at COVID19IndependentAdvisoryGroup@spa.pnn.police.uk or leave message on 0131 440 6874. Alternatively contact me direct & I will share anonymously with IAG Chair and other members of IAG
On 9 April 2020, it was announced that an Independent Advisory Group (IAG) would be set up to review Police Scotland's use of new temporary police powers to tackle coronavirus.
Read 4 tweets

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