Independence of the legal profession underpins rule of law

The rule of law and the UK’s reputation for justice and fair play are underpinned by an independent legal profession, the Law Society of England and Wales said amid concerns about the relationship between the solicitors’ regulator and the Ministry of Defence published in the Observer today.

Law Society president Joe Egan said: “Britain’s standing internationally and as a jurisdiction of choice is underpinned by the independence of the legal profession and its regulators from government.

“This separation of powers ensures that the law can hold every one of us accountable, from the most vulnerable to the most powerful.

“The right to access to justice for all depends on lawyers being able to represent their clients’ cases within our framework of laws, no matter how the client or case may be perceived by the public, media or government.

“The merits of each case are decided by the relevant court, a function that is and must remain separate from government.

“Lawyers should not be hindered or intimidated in carrying out their professional duties. Nor should they be identified with their clients or clients’ causes. This principle is set out in the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.”

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