Pioneering the new initiative will be the The Law Society, Bar Council and Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. Justice Week will replace National Pro Bono Week, which launched in 2001.
Justice Weke will commence with an event exploring what the public thinks about the current justice system and how issues are reported by the media. It will promote a mix of politicians, the media, industry, the third sector and the public to tackle key challenges facing the justice system today.
Speaking to the Global Legal Post, a spokesperson said: “with so many parts of the justice system at breaking point, now is the time to make a strong and clear case for why it is so fundamental to our society, economy and democracy. Business groups, members of the public and front-line service providers should all be a part of the conversation.”
The public image of the justice system has been somewhat tainted for some time. The organisations cite a range of issues of public concern in the UK, as well as extensive media coverage.
A number of issues have affected this, including disclosure failings, action over further legal aid cuts, anger over the Parole Board’s decision to release John Worboys and an expose of the criminal justice system by legal blogger the ‘secret barrister’.
The spokesmen said, ‘this week aims to take the subject of justice to new audiences and underline the contribution and commitment of legal professionals and organisations to improving access to justice and strengthening the rule of law both in England and Wales and internationally.’
Organisers are keen to hear from anyone willing to run an event or campaign as part of Justice Week, whether it is to promote or support public legal education or pro bono, or to tackle some of the key challenges society faces around access to justice.
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