UK lawyers have come out swinging about Boris Johnson’s comments to the virtual Conservative Party conference where he said “lefty human rights lawyers” who he claimed were hampering the criminal justice system
Responding to the prime minister’s address to the party’s virtual conference on Tuesday, lawyers condemned his comments as going even further than those made by the home secretary, Priti Patel who hit out at “lefty lawyers” and “do gooders” who were “defending the broken system.”
A criminal barrister, Joanna Hardy, hit back at the PM with a series of tweets that have been garnering growing support,
Hardy noted that the system may have been ‘hamstrung’, but it wasn’t the fault of the lawyers.
Criticism from senior lawyers was also quick to emerge.
Bar Council chair Amanda Pinto QC, criticized the comments and the under-funding of the criminal justice system, saying: “It is shocking and troubling that our own Prime Minister condones and extends attempts to politicise and attack lawyers for simply doing their job in the public interest. Lawyers — including those employed by the government itself — are absolutely vital to the running of our grossly under-funded criminal justice system. Their professional duty is to their client and to the court, and not to play political games.”
On Tuesday night, Lady Hale, the former president of the supreme court, added to legal criticism of the government by telling a seminar that the internal market bill, which provides for breaching international law, could damage Britain’s standing in the world.
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