Continued collaboration between the Welsh and UK governments will be essential for the future success of Welsh justice, the Law Society of England and Wales said today as it launched its Future of Justice in Wales manifesto.
“The Fifth Senedd term has been an exciting one for the advancement of justice in Wales,” said the head of the Law Society’s Wales office Jonathan Davies.
“We saw the report of the Commission on Justice led by Lord Thomas along with the Welsh government’s rapid review of the legal sector undertaken by Jomati. The remit of the Senedd Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee has been expanded considerably and the Making Justice Work in Wales inquiry is ongoing.
“Justice has risen up the Welsh political agenda and will continue to do so post-election.Ahead of the 2021 Senedd election we have launched our Future of Justice in Wales manifesto, outlining our keys asks for the next Welsh government to continue to develop the legal sector.”
Some key asks from the manifesto are for the next Welsh government to:
- Continue to implement the recommendations of the Commission on Justice in Wales and engage in constructive dialogue with the UK government to ensure Wales’ distinct legal needs are recognised
- Promote access to justice and make representations to the UK government to restore legal aid for early advice and reassess the stringent means test
- Maintain and develop a shared regulatory system to accommodate English and Welsh practice and avoid any barriers to cross-border working for practitioners
- Promote South Wales as a vibrant legal centre and invest in Welsh businesses and infrastructure – such as ensuring broadband is available across all regions
“English and Welsh law is widely respected around the world and is one of the UK’s most valuable exports,” said Jonathan Davies.
“Cross-border collaboration is a crucial component of English and Welsh law’s success. As the body of Wales-specific law grows, it is important to consider the distinct needs of the Welsh public and legal profession and to ensure a continued openness across England and Wales – allowing solicitors to gain experience and grow their careers in both nations.
“We look forward to working with the next Welsh government to grow the sector, promote South Wales as a vibrant legal centre and improve access to justice.”