Libraries latest battleground in legal fight against cuts
A leading public interest lawyer tells Channel 4 News the Government should expect more legal challenges against spending cuts, following a court battle over library closures in Gloucestershire.
Anti-cuts campaigners will increasingly use the law to challenge Government spending decisions, a leading human rights lawyer has told Channel 4 News.
Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers has brought an action against Gloucestershire County Council in a bid to stop the local authority closing ten of the county’s 38 libraries.
One Gloucestershire resident won a High Court injunction last month, although the council says it is confident of victory following a hearing to seek permission for a judicial review on 7 July.
Mr Shiner told Channel 4 News the Coalition should expect similar lawsuits in the future as campaign groups use lawyers to challenge public spending cuts.
I think the law is a legitimate part of an overally strategy that people are using now to try to stop these cutbacks.Phil Shiner
He said: “I think the law is a legitimate part of an overally strategy that people are using now to try to stop these cutbacks.
“Another big case we have got coming up in the autumn is a full two-day hearing challenging the decision on December 9 to allow universities to rais tuition fees to up to £9,000.”
He added: “There are a huge number of areas out there. I am aware of a number of other lawyers in this field who are lining up potential challenges to Government cutbacks, and how they affect a range of disadvantaged groups.”