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Sandra Davis' Week: Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere

Date:19 NOV 2010

Sandra DavisThe purpose of the Legal Aid and Advice Act 1948 was "to make legal aid and advice in England & Wales... more readily available for persons of small or moderate means".

The proposed reforms of the Legal Aid system published by the Ministry of Justice on Monday may well reverse the fundamental principle of access to justice enacted 60 years ago by the architects of the welfare state.

In the family law arena a significant number of separating couples will have nowhere to turn for legal advice. Legal aid will continue to be available for forced marriage and domestic violence cases but not for disputes between parents over the care arrangements for their children or to resolve financial disputes following divorce or separation.

The comments made by Jonathan Djanogly the Justice Minister seem to suggest these proposals have as much to do with political ideology as with purely budgetary considerations. The fact...

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