The Telegraph's legal expert, Solicitor Advocate Frank Maguire of Thompsons Solicitors explains why he and many of his colleagues believe that lawyers have to do more than just use existing laws. On occasion they have to campaign to make sure ineffective laws are changed to deliver real justice.
Lawyers don't just argue on the existing laws, some campaign to make sure the laws are fair and relevant to modern society.
As a lawyer who works closely with victims of industrial disease and work place accidents I am in a privileged position to see when the Justice System is not doing its job, and act on it.
In recent years, in partnership with Trade Unions and victims' pressure groups, we have been able to successfully convince the government to widen the range of relatives who can claim damages when a loved one is negligently killed to include siblings, grandparents and grandchildren. These groups were previously ignored.
In relation to asbestos related cancer we have been successful in persuading government that victims should be compensated quickly in order that they may, at the very least, enjoy some financial comfort before their death.
We have also helped ensure that these victims should not have to make the impossible choice over whether they OR their relatives should be compensated.
Only last year victims of pleural plaques were told they would get nothing in terms of redress for scarring on their lungs due to asbestos exposure. Campaigns have opened the eyes of the Scottish Parliament and they now realise that this is not acceptable. A law will be brought forward to ensure that this injustice is rectified.
Recent campaigns seeking public enquires into NHS blood contaminated with Hepatitis-C, and the forthcoming Stockline Inquiry show that even the Lord Advocate can be made to take action in the public interest if the right kind of pressure is applied.
Campaigns help ensure justice for victims, keep the law up to date and accurately reflect the public's concerns.
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