Legal Aid

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has announced a programme of wide-ranging reform to legal aid and civil litigation costs. The consultation document Proposals for the Reform of Legal Aid in England and Wales outlines proposals which, if implemented in their entirety, will achieve savings of around £350 million in 2014-15.

Legal aid will be retained for asylum cases, for debt and housing matters where someone’s home is at immediate risk, and for mental health cases.  It will still be provided where people face intervention from the state in their family affairs which may result in their children being taken into care, and cases involving domestic violence or forced marriage.

However, according to the chairman of the Bar Council of England and Wales, legal aid will no longer be available for many cases involving education, immigration, employment, debt, and housing, all of which can involve very vulnerable people. Young people will be affected, especially by the cut in private family cases which do not involve domestic violence, forced marriages or children are at risk of being taken into care.


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