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I want to limit your access to justice

I have come up with a brilliant idea that will enable me to grow my business faster, with less red tape and bureaucracy.  It's so simple that I can't believe nobody else has thought it up.

Put simply, I want to make it harder for people to sue me or challenge my decisions.  I think that by doing this I will be able to do pretty much what I like when I like.  This will enable me to take positive decisions, not only for my business and myself but also for the wider community.  Ultimately, I'd like to see a system where it is either unlawful or so mind-numbingly expensive to sue me that it's easier just to let me get on with what I like no matter how much it screws up the lives of other people... I think I'll call these other people the "ordinaries".

By now I'm assuming that you all think I have lost my mind, if you do then you must be a smelly oik ordinary. 

My plan may sound like the ravings of a power-hungry lunatic, but they are exactly what our esteemed Prime Minister wants to impose.  He described challenges to government policy as often being "time-wasting" and blamed lawyers for creating a massive growth industry in challenges to government policy.

I'm no civil lawyer, but even I know that if a claim has no basis in law or fact or is an abuse of the court process then the defendant can apply to strike out the claim at a very early stage in the proceedings in accordance with Rule 3A of the Civil Procedure Rules.  I'm sure that the Attorney-General would have advised Dave C of this rule, which can only lead me to the conclusion that what he really means is that the cases are "time-wasters" because he thinks that anybody with a different view to him is, in one way or another, stupid.

Judicial Reviews are what Davey is talking about.  Now these are not simple applications and I am confident that the vast majority are brought by people who are paying relatively expensive lawyers to act on their behalf.  You do not JR a decision lightly or unless you think that your cause is right and you have a decent chance of winning your case.

This is the latest in a long running effort by successive governments to limit the access of the ordinaries to courts.  In the past they have taken very strenuous efforts to prevent people obtaining legal aid; in most areas of civil law legal aid no longer exists.  The government recently changed the rules so that if a government agency accuses you of a crime and you pay for your defence (because legal aid is no longer available) then you will not get back all of the money you paid out!  All of this creates a system that is harder for the ordinary person to access and thus makes it more likely that people will take the path of least resistence, which is always to agree with the government.  Thus they lose less cases, pay out less in costs to their victims and can claim that they have improved crime stats (or whatever) when in fact all they have done is hidden the problem from sight.

Attacking access to justice is an obvious target for politicians.  First,because it's always dressed up as an attack on lawyers - lots of people hate lawyers and think that we all live in multi-million pound homes, eating from our golden plates and waited on by teams of servants.  Secondly, because lawyers keep telling politicians what to do - as examples I give you Theresa May's response to Abu Qatada's case and the response of Sally Bercow who is being accused of defamation (she appears to have claimed that what is happening to her is all the fault of Lord McAlpine's bullying lawyers).

Attacking lawyers is therefore good because the public love it, party members love it and it helps the government to do things that it would otherwise not be able to do.

Be warned: the government is not seeking to limit your access to justice because they think that your not being able to challenge them will make your life better.  They are doing it because they want to make their own lives easier!  If you read my claim to want to be exempt from the law at the start of this blog and imagined how terrible it would be to have one man immune to the law, then imagine how disastrous it would be to have a whole government virtually immune to the law!


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