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
Access to Justice is essential to ensure the most vulnerable in society have recourse to challenge legal issues that affect their lives.
Please reconsider the proposed changes to the Legal Aid Bill
Wendy Pettifer commented
I am a solicitor in Hackney Law Centre. This morning I have seen 3 clients: the first one faces destitution with 3 dependent children on 10 August - I sent her to Social Services with a letter threatening judicial reivew if the do not help. The second is an 8 month pregnant victim of trafficking living in a hostel for single homeless. I am working with her immigration lawyer for her to get support and accommodation from UKBA in London as she is being counselled at Helen Bamber. The third is a single parent with 3 children living in a house in dreadful disrepair full of mould and damp with leaking roof and gutter. I will take her landlord to court and/or obtain alternative housing for her. Who else will help these women without Legal Aid: all the services I offer: social srevices referral, Home Office support and disrepair are being taken out of scope
Lisa Brooks commented
Fair access to legal assistance is partly what underpins and distinguishes democracy from other forms of political systems. To reduce the access to legal aid of those who most need it is not only a personal plight, it also erodes the prinicples of fair governance and a fair society. If we are to generate change in our local communities we need to ensure our local communities have fair and uncompromising access to legal aid services.
Law Centres are vital for those most in need in the community. The cuts are short sighted and unworkable and need stopping.
anne whitworth commented
Lots of people are outting comments on here without voting - please make sure you go back and vote if you haven't done so
People that need access to Legal Aid are there because they need help to access their family, home, work and other legal rights. Often people are challenging decision that they know nothing about and so to be a litigant in person is ludicrous and will only slow the system down further and will not lead to justice for anyone.
Valerie Moore commented
The work done by Community Law Centres is vital to protect the most vulnerable in society. These are the people with mental health problems, the homeless, those with physical disabilities or caring for those who do, and those who are themselves vulnerable. Without the work of the CLCs they have no voice, and also the results of the breakdowns, social and health problems which then result, the public purse is stretched far more than if they had received legal advice and protection in the first place.
Kieran Laird commented
Legal aid is essential to ensure that those who are most in need of expert legal advice and representation recieve it.
Suzanne Ranson commented
The proposed cuts to Legal Aid are both short-sighted and dangerous. The knock-on affect of those who may potentially lose their homes, benefits and have spiralling debt issues are far reaching and would cost the Government more in the long run. No Legal Aid cuts!
Carole Holmberg commented
Many of our clients are too vulnerable to sort their problems out for themselves e.g telephone help lines - many will lose their homes through not having their Benefits, Debts and housing problems sorted out.
Give a grant to Law Centres, so they can carry on
Val Spearman commented
Keep Law Centres open.
Matt Thatcher (IOW) Law Centre Manager commented
If these proposed cuts come to pass, then just in the area of "housing law" here on the Isle of Wight, anyone facing either repossession or eviction will have no one to defend them.
this needs to be fought tooth and nail!
Cathy Gallagher commented
The withdrawal of access to even the first level of legal advice is taking a goernment position that intends to dismantle support by the state to those disadvantaged through social status or the economy. It is an attack on the poor, an attack on equality, and an attack on attempts to keep an even playing field within the UK justice system. That is why so many who are working, living and doggedly arguing within this sector are so angry.
Sue James commented
The changes proposed will see the most vulnerable people in our society without recourse to legal help. The bill proposes that legal advice under the legal aid scheme will cease for welfare benefits, debt, immigration, private family matters inc children, employment, and a large amount of housing advice. The client`s we have with these problems are often the most vulnerable with language difficulties and mental health problems. They will have no where to go for advice and assistance with their legal problems.
BUSY BEE commented
Hi Jacqueline! I totally agree with your last 2 comments. Some people don't seem to realise that posting a comment is not voting. While they are typing their comment they should glance up to the button 'vote' in top left hand corner and click it! I agree with you about medical negligence cases.
Maggie Grimshaw commented
The proposed restrictions on legal aid will mean that many of the most vulnerable citizens will not have access to justice. People without power or money will not be able to seek to have their rights upheld - so in effect lose those rights altogether.
Cheryl Philipsz commented
Justice for all, regardless of wealth and ability to pay for legal representation! Long may Legal Aid live.
Cheryl Philipsz commented
Justice for all!
Clita Johnrose commented
Legal Aid introduced after WW2. Designed to close down the huge inequalities between the rich and poor and to enable the poor to receive the same level of legal protection as the rich. Shame on you Kenneth Clarke. Shame on you!