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Legal aid reforms will hinder access to justice

21st September 2011

The 2010 Green Paper proposed the removal of legal aid for welfare benefits advice, clinical negligence, personal injury claims, debt matters (except where a person’s home is at risk), private family law cases, employment claims, non-detention immigration matters, education, and housing (except where a person may become homeless).

The two small dispensations were that those families facing a risk of international child abduction would retain access to legal aid funding, along with families facing special educational needs cases.

Back in June, the Sound Off for Justice campaign presented the Secretary of State for Justice with a Magna Carta cake as a reminder of obligations which the ancient document set forth.

Law Society President Linda Lees said, “Back in 1215 when the Magna Carta was signed, it was set out that ‘to no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice’.

“The principles set out by Ken Clarke and this Coalition Government are set to go back on all that we have fought for in this country and creates a two-tiered justice system that favours the rich and leaves the vulnerable and needy with nowhere to turn when they need it the most. Cameron’s Big Society will be the big loser, if he does not believe that the law is for all.”

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