The government has announced that it is to restrict the availability of legal aid for certain kinds of case.
This not only represents the latest attack on the poor by a Government of millionaires but also prejudices the Article 6 rights of those of limited means to achieve a fair hearing.
Campaign now to oppose the cuts in Legal Aid
Sally Everett commented
I oppose the cuts in Legal Aid
Vicky Ling commented
The government and most of the press will spin these cuts as a way of reducing expenditure on 'fat cat' lawyers. In fact many legal aid lawyers in the private and not for profit sectors struggle to make the fees cover the services they provide.
Legal aid helps many thousands of vulnerable and poor people protect and exercise their legal rights in relation to housing, debt and family life. A civilised society needs to give people a voice in the justice system.
Rachael Maskell commented
Damaging changes to civil legal aid are about to be announced in the Government's justice bill. It is essential that 38 Degrees campaigns on this issue, as 100,000s of people will be denied access to justice if these reforms go through. A strong campaign could well reverse these draconian proposals.
Sulaiman Baul commented
Justice is what stand between the vulnerable and the powerful in a democratic and civilise state like Britain. That is why there is the need to fight tooth and nail to make the case for legal aid to fight and protect the vulnerable.
DES Hudson commented
If the Rule of Law is to be effective and more than a aspiration then access to justice and representation by independent lawyers must also exist. It is in this way that the Government's proposals for both legal aid and changes to civil litigation poses such damaging threat to the rule of law and the ideal of access to justice irrespective of means.
BUSY BEE commented
Article 7 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that:
“All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.”
Join Justice For All online and come to a day of action near you next Friday 3rd June.
I have seen legal aid improve access to justice for, and ultimately the lives of, so many people. It's absolutely vital in a society that values the rule of law.
David Whittaker commented
Not only is cutting legal aid an attack on our human and democratic rights, it's a false economy. Restricting access to free legal advice in the short-term means that taxpayers will have to pay more in the long-term to sort out all the problems it could have helped avoid, e.g. home repossessions, debt relief orders, wrongful dismissals from employment, errors and denial of benefits and community care, protracted immigration claims, etc. etc. We shouldn't forget that equality is still something we have to fight for, more of us are going to have to fight for it in the future and, without legal aid, the most vulnerable people in our society will have their rights trampled on even more comprehensively than they do already.
With mortgage possession proceeds increasing monthly and redundancies on the rise we need to safeguards that Legal Aid brings. This is a fundermental principle in english law without which we return to the dark dys of the Victorian era.
tom ghannad commented
The Government proposals to cut Legal Aid pose the threat of a truly detrimental impact on access to justice across the UK. I hope that 38 degrees will support Sound Off For Justice (http://soundoffforjustice.org) in their efforts to raise awareness as to disasterous consequences that the cuts will have.
Amanda Jacks commented
Legal aid cuts would be disasterous. Through my work, I am aware that so many people find the legal process daunting and sadly are prepared to plead guilty when they aren't 'just to get it over with'. They aren't even aware that they may be entitled to legal aid. Thankfully, I am able to refer people to a solicitor ensuring that they get the justice they deserve. Proposed cuts will mean so many more people alienated from the legal system and with criminal records they may not be deserving of.
gill quine commented
I support the campaign to protect access to justice for the poor and vulnerable by retaining availability of legal aid for social welfare law
It is depressingly familiar that the government seek to save money through reducing services to the least fortunate in society.
Steve Woodcock commented
The proposed cuts are outrageous and will reduce access to justice for many individuals and families who are more likely to face injustice due to discrimination and/or poverty. This government is aiming to increase the gap between those that have and those that don't
Audrey Ludwig commented
Support the campaign to protect both legal aid and grants to pro bono legal charities
cuts to civil legal aid are just vindictive, especially given the background of cuts to social housing and benefits ...
Please support this campaign, to stop access to justice being removed for the most vulnerable people in our society. If these changes gp through, it will be impossible for people in poverty and bad housing to enforce even their most basic and fundamental legal rights until their situation has gone much too far to be rectified. Societies are judged by how they treat their poorest and most vulnerable - what do these cuts say about ours?
paula mansfield commented
I am a family practitioner with 13 years of experience. If the government's proposals go ahead this will certainly lead to an injustice for some individuals going through family disputes who will not be able to afford to be represented. However the dispute will either go unresolved which could have a siginicantly detrimental impact on the children or is likley to cause chaos in the family courts in the event there are copious numbers of litigants in person
Keep legel aid ! We need it more than ever.
gerard sagar commented
Hope everyone's aware that these cuts are worst for children - legal aid for compensation claims after medical accidents, access to children cases, housing disrepair cases, divorce, and education appeals by parents for children with special needs. All the cuts are on civil cases and family law.
No change to crimincal legal aid. The number of civil cases getting legal aid support will go down by more than TWO THIRDS - about 760,000 fewer cases every year. Why doesn't Ken Clarke publish the costs to OTHER government departments of this £350m cut by his Ministry of Justice? It will cost them a lot more than it saves the MoJ - welfare benefits, hospital accidents, policing, council housing and social services - all because people who need justice can't get their problems sorted through the law.