Dom Post on Legal Aid

The Dom Post editorial:

The threat of industrial action from lawyers opposed to the expansion of the Public Defence Service is a self-interested attempt to stay hitched to a taxpayer-funded gravy train.

Despite claims to the contrary, talk of lawyers working to rule in protest at the changes is primarily motivated by the same reason behind most industrial action – money. …

It is not hard to feel some sympathy for legal aid lawyers caught by the changes. The vast majority are scrupulously honest, yet the whole profession has been punished for the greed and misdeeds of a few.

But the profession had plenty of warning that the Government was concerned about the rising cost of legal aid and should have put its house in order. The failure to do so left Mr Power with little choice but to act. The threat of protests against the PDS should be seen for what it is – a last-ditch bid to get him to change his mind, motivated by a looming loss of taxpayer-funded income. He is right to stand his ground.

It is somewhat ironic that a National Government is partially nationalising part of the justice sector, but I thinks the changes are necessary. The status quo wasn’t defensible.

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