The Legal Aid, Sentancing and Punishment of Offenders Bill currently going through parliament includes significnat cuts to legal aid. This will have a huge impact on access to justice for very many women in particular.
The Justice for All campaign is urging everyone to write to their MP urgently asking them to oppose these changes to legal aid.
In particular they are concerned that
1. The most complex social welfare law cases must remain within legal aid – in particular welfare benefit appeals and tribunals which often involve very ill or disabled people.
2. Legal aid’s protection for those escaping domestic violence must reflect women’s real experience of leaving violent relationships – despite small changes the Bill in its current form will leave many genuine victims ineligible for support.
3. Administration and bureaucracy must be cut before front-line services – there must be provision for true reform of the administration of legal aid particularly for social welfare law.
4. A plan for sustainable support for the community advice sector is urgently needed – no further information has been given on the Secretary of State’s June announcement of a 20 million pound fund for not-for-profit advice, and even less reassurance has been given on long-term support.
Click here for more information about how you can write to your MP