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Falling on deaf ears

27 June 2011

Despite more than 5,000 responses to the government’s consultation, the legal aid bill offers few concessions. If enacted, it could deprive nearly 70 per cent of people currently eligible for legal aid of access to justice. According to the figures collated by the Legal Action Group, Liverpool, one of Britain’s most deprived areas, is set to lose 80 per cent of its casework.

Social welfare will be one of the major casualties, with an estimated 600,000 people becoming ineligible for legal aid, while the “incoherent” proposals for housing place unrealistic expectations on expanded mediations. In family cases legal aid will only be available in the most extreme of circumstances.

Lawyers fear a rise in litigants in person, while law centres, usually trusted to pick up those falling by the wayside, may no longer have the means to keep going (see comments below and opposite).

The Law Society was among the respondents, not just contributing a detailed response b...

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