A Home Office video referring to immigration lawyers who provide legal advice to migrants as ‘activist lawyers’ is condemned by the Law Society of England and Wales.
“Attacks on the integrity of the legal profession undermine the rule of law,” said Law Society president Simon Davis.
“Solicitors advise their clients on their rights under the laws created by parliament. To describe lawyers who are upholding the law as ‘activist lawyers’ is misleading and dangerous.
“We should be proud that we live in a country where legal rights cannot be overridden without due process, and we should be proud that we have legal professionals who serve the rule of law.
“It is vital in a democratic society that each case is judged on merit and it is the role of the justice system to determine the validity of claims. This function is and must remain independent of government, media and public opinion.
“In countries where lawyers are unable to do their job for fear of intimidation the rule of law is weakened. The consequences are a society that becomes less safe, less stable and less fair.
“Britain’s standing internationally is underpinned by our reputation for democracy, fair play and the independence of our legal system.
“This independence hinges on lawyers and judges not being hindered or intimidated in carrying out their professional duties and not being identified with their clients or their clients’ causes.”