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Jade Quirke
Jade Quirke
Family Solicitor
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NSPCC backs Bar Council's campaign to defend legal aid cuts
Date:18 MAR 2009

The NSPCC is supporting the Bar Council and the Family Law Bar Association's campaign to stop the Ministry of Justice's proposals to cut family legal aid.

NSPCC lawyer Barbara Esam said: "The proposed, repeated cuts in legal support in family law cases comes at the worse possible time, as the pressure to improve child protection work is rightly higher than ever.

"These are precisely the specialists society needs if the courts are to be able to make the right decisions about when a child needs protection.

"The NSPCC's work to protect vulnerable children and families relies on the ability to access a pool of specialist advocates at the family Bar.

"The NSPCC urges the Ministry of Justice to reconsider its plans to cut funding in these cases."

In December the government unexpectedly revealed proposals to cut family legal aid in some cases by as much as 55%, having previously indicated that the cuts would be 13% to 14%.

As a result, in the event of the proposed legal aid cuts going ahead, over 80% of family barristers said they intend to change practices.

Family law barristers and other interested practitioners who wish to express their opinion on this issue can do so by responding to the LSC's consultation, Family Legal Aid Funding from 2010, which opened on 17 December 2008 and now closes at midnight on Friday 3 April (extended from 18 March). Practitioners can respond to this consultation online by clicking here.

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