The same was true of our criminal justice system, Littlewood continued. ‘The first thing you notice is the crumbling court estate,’ he wrote. ‘Leaking roofs, peeling paint and general deterioration are now all common occurrence.’ But such dilapidation was ‘only a symptom of a wider problem’. ‘The UK’s increasingly shabby courtrooms are merely an obvious sign of deeper crisis that lies beneath,’ he added. ‘Cuts to legal aid rates of 42% and a real-terms pay cut of up to 20% for CPS prosecutors over the past decade have led to a situation where fewer and fewer young lawyers are choosing to practice criminal law. From May 2014 to January 2018, the overall number of practising solicitors rose by 7.8%, but the proportion specialising in criminal work fell by 9.4%.’ Steven Littlewood, FDAThe union has teamed up with Chancery Lane and the Bar Council to launch a Manifesto for Justice calling for proper investment in our Criminal Justice System.
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