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'The Ministry of Justice is on track to make significant and quick reductions in its spending on civil legal aid. However, it has been slower to think through how and why people access civil legal aid; the scale of the additional costs to the Ministry likely to be generated by people choosing to represent themselves; and the impact on the ability and willingness of providers to provide legal services for the fees paid.Without this understanding, the Ministry’s implementation of the reforms to civil legal aid cannot be said to have delivered better overall value for money for the taxpayer.'
'The MoJ and their colleagues at the Treasury will no doubt welcome the
findings of today's report, which sets out the reduction in spending. However,
the NAO has confirmed what those of us who work with separating families have
been warning of for years: that these cuts were poorly thought through and that
they’ve put the courts under more pressure.With more
people representing themselves, family cases invariably take longer, taking up
more of the courts’ time and resource – with the result that the family courts
really are at breaking point.The reforms have also not had the effect the government stated they would
– diverting more separating couples away from the courts. Mediation referrals
went down, not up, in the year following the legal aid changes, by some
56%.What’s more, the report highlights the unquantifiable impact on other
areas of public sector spending. Separation is stressful, and this is made even
worse if people don’t have access to legal advice – there is inevitably an
impact on their health and well being, and their financial circumstances, for
which the state ends up footing the bill elsewhere.The Government needs to commit to a full impact assessment as soon as
possible in the light of this report. £300m a year sounds like a lot of money,
but when you take into account the devastating impact divorce and separation can
have on people’s lives, particularly the most vulnerable members of society,
then the financial, social, and emotional costs far outweigh the savings.'
If you are looking to represent yourself in court this book will de-mystify the legal process and arm you with the know-how and confidence to achieve a successful outcome.
‘The way we are’: accessing the court after LASPO
HHJ Stephen Wildblood QC, Designated Family Judge for Avon, North Somerset and Glouce...
Legal Aid: tips to ensure your application is processed quickly
The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) has recently reviewed its application process and identifi...
State funding for family proceedings: Part 2: Exceptional case determination (£)
Grants of legal aid for civil
proceedings (‘civil legal services’) have been radica...
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