Today marked the 125th anniversary of the Bar Council of England & Wales, and 100 years since women were given the chance to become lawyers.
To mark this event the City Corporation held an event celebrating the legal profession and its service to the public. We heard from Dame Heather Carol Hallett DBE PC styled The Rt Hon. Lady Justice Hallett, is an English judge of the Court of Appeal, and first female chairman of the Bar Council in the 1990s.
Her words were a great reminder of the importance of legal aid, and the importance of a fair legal system, where we can access good legal advice. The importance of our Bar’s contribution to rights not only at home in a England & Wales but also in support of lawyers abroad should not be forgotten. Dame Heather’s reminder of the support for apartheid era lawyers for example shows how much impact the English bar can have.
Without question we must ensure our legal system works for all, and never forget the risk to the innocent of a lack of access to good lawyers. A thought provoking evening and I wish we had more discussion of the importance to the public good of a good legal system and the importance of public funds in legal aid.