Access to Justice

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Access to Justice

The introduction of LASPO 2012 was the biggest shake-up of legal aid since it was introduced in 1949. Areas of law now almost entirely excluded from the scope of legal aid include child custody, divorce, employment, education, debt, housing, welfare law and immigration (except asylum cases).

Efforts by wide range of organisations involved in the provision of publically funded legal services, including the Bar Council, saw the LASPO Bill defeated 11 times in the House of Lords before it finally became law.

A year after it was introduced, the Bar Council published 'LASPO: One Year On' the first report of its kind to try and quantify the impact of the cuts. Unsurprisingly it found:

  • A significant increase in litigants in person, especially in the family courts

  • Increased delays in court and additional burdens on already-stretched court resources

  • Increased and likely unsustainable pressure on frontline providers offering free legal support, advice or representation, and

  • A growing reluctance of solicitors and barristers to take on complex, low-value litigation, thereby denying access to legal advice and representation to those who need it.

On-going work

The Bar Council continues to use media briefings, speeches, reports and publications to raise awareness about the devastating impact of the cuts.

Click these links for access to relevant press releases and other communications documents.