Independence of legal profession ‘core to our democracy’

07 Oct


THE Dean of Faculty, Roddy Dunlop, QC, has added his voice to condemnation of comments about lawyers by the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary.

After Boris Johnson’s speech to the Conservative Party conference, in which he referred to “lefty human rights lawyers and other do-gooders”, Mr Dunlop tweeted: “Seriously: this has to stop. Bad enough from the home sec. But the PM?”

He said members of Faculty would represent litigants with a stateable case against government “without fear or favour” as they must do.

“They should not be decried for doing their professional duty,” added Mr Dunlop.

He highlighted a “fundamental truism (which) seems to elude those criticising ‘lefty lawyers’ “ – that Advocates did not pick and choose their cases and did not judge.

“The cab rank rule guarantees representation of the most vulnerable in our society. The independence of the legal profession from executive interference is core to our democracy, and must and will be defended,” stated Mr Dunlop.

The Faculty’s Human Rights and Rule of Law Committee said its members included counsel who acted for government as well as counsel who represented individuals in actions against government.

“We are all human rights lawyers. We all act without fear or favour. We all do good,” the committee added.