NI: Northern Ireland public least confident across UK in access to justice

Patrick Allen
Patrick Allen, senior partner at Hodge Jones & Allen

A new report has found that more people in Northern Ireland believe the justice system is not accessible to all members of the public than anywhere else in the UK.

A poll included in the Unjust Kingdom: UK perceptions of the justice and legal system report from law firm Hodge Jones & Allen found that 70 per cent of people in Northern Ireland feel that access to justice is not universal.

The poll found that 78 per cent of people believe wealth is an increasingly important factor in accessing justice.

Among legal professionals, that figure stands higher at 87 per cent.

Only 32 per cent of people in Northern Ireland said they trust legal professionals.

Patrick Allen, senior partner at Hodge Jones & Allen, said the statistics represent “a damning indictment of the British justice system” and that legal aid cuts “have only served to exacerbate an already difficult situation”.

Mr Allen added: “I implore my peers in the legal sector, the government and the general public to get involved in the debate about how we change and innovate the system to ensure fair and open access to justice for all – regardless of wealth, status or ethnicity.”


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