Report (3rd Day)

Part of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill – in the House of Lords at 8:15 pm on 12th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Faulks Lord Faulks Conservative 8:15 pm, 12th March 2012

My Lords, as a young barrister I had quite a lot of experience of going to employment tribunals. It has now become fashionable to talk about equality of arms but on those occasions when I represented the employer I dreaded the moment when the employee was unrepresented. This usually meant that, quite rightly, extra steps were taken by the chairperson and those assisting him or her to make sure that everything possible could be said on behalf of the employee. On the whole, while I am sympathetic to what underlies the amendment, these tribunals were designed for access by ordinary people without lawyers and, while I should be the last person to stress the fact that lawyers are not always the answer, on this occasion I need some convincing.