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David Hodson on International Family Law: Legal Aid cuts to the heart of international family law justice

Date:24 AUG 2010

David HodsonThe latest cuts in legal aid public funding in England comes on top of dramatic changes announced in 2009. The consequence is to reduce drastically the availability of specialist solicitors able and willing to help members of the public in England and abroad needing legal representation in English family law proceedings. As the UK enters a period of unprecedented cuts in public services to overcome the economic deficit the outlook is not good for justice and access to justice.

Yet England has often led the way over the past 60 years in its commitment to publicly funded legal representation. It was established by the Legal Aid Act 1949 the justice part of the welfare state Trinity with health and education. Other countries followed with similar schemes although some backed out quickly because of the cost. England has been backpedalling over the past 15 years so that there are now legal aid deserts across the country where it is difficult...

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