Fair Trials calls on the UK Prime Minister to retract comments about lawyers

Article by Fair Trials

Fair Trials has urged the UK Prime Minister to retract critical comments he made about lawyers yesterday. Footage from a Cabinet meeting shows Boris Johnson saying that lawyers helping asylum seekers who faced deportation to Rwanda were “abetting the work of gangs”.

Fair Trials CEO Norman L. Reimer said:

“Boris Johnson is undermining the UK justice system when he criticises lawyers for ensuring that people have a fair chance of defending themselves before the law.

“Everyone – including the prime minister, who himself was recently accused of criminal wrongdoing – has a right to access legal assistance where their rights are threatened.  This is particularly important when individuals at risk of persecution face cruel, inhumane, and unlawful treatment by the UK authorities.

The Prime Minister should respect the vital role that lawyers play in helping to ensure that the UK has a fair and just legal system.”

The Bar Council and Law Society of England and Wales have also issued a statement in response to the Prime Minister’s comments:

“It is misleading and dangerous for the prime minister to suggest lawyers who bring such legal challenges are doing anything other than their job and upholding the law. Anyone at risk of a life-changing order has a right to challenge its legality with the assistance of a lawyer, who has a duty to advise their client on their rights.”

Read more about Fair Trials’ work to protect human rights.