QASA Revisited

Sometimes it is positively dangerous to be a lone voice. No matter. I want to put on record my own views in the hope that they will contribute to a reasonable solution.

My fear is that the profession I have loved for over 47 years may rush headlong into a protracted suicide, destroying many practices in the process. Don’t misunderstand me. Militancy undoubtedly has helped to create a fighting spirit after years in which we have been betrayed by successive governments. But the question is whether we are shooting ourselves in the foot by promising a non-cooperation which ultimately carries such a high risk.

My circuit is the first in line. Forced to choose between the future of their profession and putting bread on the table, you cannot blame the young or indeed anyone for choosing the latter. I am concerned that there is a body of mostly younger advocates who feel compelled to agree with militant action whilst fearing the very worst.

Somebody has to speak up for them. I shall continue to do so. Meanwhile I support every possible effort to Improve this sick mouse of a scheme before it comes into place, Including going for judicial review. But I can also see a role for a top legal figure to act as a mediator. We have plenty of Senior mediators at the bar and there must be well disposed retired judges who could take such a role.

Nigel Pascoe QC

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