Parliament: Justice Bill - Barristers' wigs face the cut in court reforms
Friday 30 April 1999
The proposals offer the Government a compromise deal that also includes plans to establish a register of interests for judges.
Andrew Dismore, the solicitor MP behind the amendments, said they gave the Government the ideal opportunity to modernise other parts of the justice system. He said: "Queen's Counsel are an expensive anachronism working in the interests of the lawyers, not the public. Radical reform is needed or they should be abolished."
Lord Irvine of Lairg is unlikely to agree to the abolition of QCs, as one of Mr Dismore's amendments requires, but the Government could agree to the relaxation of court dress and a reduction in the use of QCs. The Lord Chancellor himself has complained of the ceremonial dress he must wear in the House of Lords. Solicitor advocates, who can now appear in the higher courts alongside barristers, have long complained that wigs allow the jury unfairly to distinguish between them.
This week Mr Dismore failed to secure answers to questions from the Government on the extent and cost of using QCs in government work. In written answers neither the Solicitor General, Ross Cranston, nor the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, were able to tell Mr Dismore how many QCs were used by their respective government offices.
A spokesman for the Lord Chancellor's Department said: "The Lord Chancellor has no plans to abolish QCs, which he regards as a kitemark of quality within the legal profession."
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 Chelsea victory parade: Chelsea mocked on Twitter as 'tens of fans' pack the streets of London
- 3 US warned by Chinese media to stop meddling or 'war will be inevitable'
- 4 Woman, 21, dies after taking contraceptive pill that 'caused fatal blood clot'
- 5 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
US warned by Chinese media to stop meddling or 'war will be inevitable'
How China's richest man Li Hejun lost $15bn in an hour - and made a fortune
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...