LEGAL AID FUNDING CUTS HARM THE UK
In a letter to Government lawyers, the Attorney General has raised concerns that legal aid cuts will "collapse the edifice" of the justice system.
In support to his comments, Lord Neuberger, the President of the Supreme Court, has also expressed his concern, saying “any citizen should be able to take a case to Court no matter how small it may be.”
Changes in the legal aid system, which took place from April this year, meant a raft of cases are no longer eligible for public funds, including divorce, employment, family issues, clinical negligence and housing problems.
The Government hopes this move will save £400m from the annual £2 billion legal aid budget but has met fierce criticism from legal and civil liberty groups.
In a lecture in London on Wednesday evening, Lord Neuberger said not everyone affected by the changes would be able to use no win no fee lawyers to take their claims forward because they will be too small.
He warned: “And there are plenty of claims which are small and important to the citizen concerned, and there are even quite a few claims which are small but important to society.
“In a sense, every genuine claim is important, because every citizen should be able to bring his or her case to Court, and without legal aid many people are prevented from doing so, or seriously disadvantaged when they do so.
“I appreciate that pressures on government finances are very great, but access to justice is of the essence in a civilised society.”
The Telegraph covers legal aid funding in detail, articles can be sourced here.
By Claire Clark on 16 Jul 2013, 15:01 PM