It isn’t for me to set out the systematic and ideological attacks on access to justice and the rule of law by the current government. Nor to point out that accepting ‘austerity’ as an inarguable premise is the single biggest reason they are able to get away with it.
It isn’t for me to list all the organisations that have closed through cuts or to argue about the number of people who are becoming increasingly legally, socially and economically disadvantaged through a radicalisation of capitalism. It certainly isn’t for me to detail the growth in the power of the State at the expense of the individual and the propagandist lies that are being peddled in order to achieve this.
That is, of course, unless it is in the new book Saving Justice where my humble offerings appear alongside the contributions of a whole range of writers. None of whom realised at the time we were surfing the same inexorable timeline to create an explosive and moving narrative on the state of justice in the UK in the run up to the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. From all manner of legal professional to prisoners behind bars; media figures, political activists and tech-savvy hackers, to a 12-year-old girl. This isn’t some dusty old tome, it’s for everyone, the diversity of contributors makes sure of that.
In trying to tell the story of the latest round of justice cuts Saving Justice has significant advantages in being published digitally. It is media rich, containing lots of video and audio recordings, especially of key events, speeches and protests – a gold mine for students, researchers and activists alike as well as anyone with the slightest passing interest in what is happening to our once proud Welfare State.
I can’t begin to list all the highlights but certainly the video of The Artist Taxi Driver interviewing John Cooper QC has to be up there. As must the jargon-free pieces by A Barrister’s Wife on the right to a fair trial and the prosecution of fraudsters, paedophiles and murderers. And let’s not forget the intrigant’s deliciously acerbic ‘Letters to The Lord Chancellor’!
It also provides the only complete – as far as it is possible to be complete – account of the Save UK Justice campaign and the events that led to the formation of the Justice Alliance. Crystallising all the key events, reactions and commentary into one place allows it to become a tool, an accessible reference, and allows readers the opportunity to make their own mind up on the legitimacy of justice cuts, the various arguments against them and the actors involved.