Monday, January 25, 2010
Showdown at High Noon: the Legal Aid Boycott
It was really a brilliant strategy on the part of the executive to boycott only major cases. With that approach, we were able to achieve significant solidarity. The reality was that with most of covered cases being murder prosecutions, the accused were not getting bail anyways, and for the majority of them, time was on their side. So most lawyers could hold firm without it impacting on their practice at all. On the other side, the province was thus in some significant difficulty because more and more major cases were going undefended, meaning more and more prosecutions were in significant jeopardy.
There was however a deadline that the executive set for itself and criminal lawyers were on the brink of having to enlarge their work action. Yet that would no doubt have resulted in some loss of solidarity. The province was in a bind too, to get their major cases on track again. So at eleventh hour, the parties settled and there was no showdown.