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Ministers get a wigging from lawyer

It is terribly ironic that ministers are "paying lip service" to the principles of Magna Carta in year the charter's 800th anniversary is being celebrated, a leading barrister said.

Alistair MacDonald QC, Chairman of the Bar Council - which represents barristers in England and Wales, said Magna Carta provided a "guarantee of access to justice".

But he said Government cuts in the provision of legal aid struck at the "very substance" of that promise.

Mr MacDonald has made criticisms when writing in legal magazine Counsel.

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