Saturday, 31 July 2021

Justice Committee - Report on the Future of Legal Aid

The House of Commons Justice Committee has published a report - "The Future of Legal Aid" - 3rd Report of Session 2021-22.The Committee noted that - "... , on the evidence submitted to this inquiry, we are concerned that there are not enough legal aid providers in certain areas, and without urgent action, that situation is certain to worsen over the next decade."

After a decade

of adjusting to the effect of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), the Government and the professions are focused on trying to find solutions to improve the legal aid system and access to justice. As Richard Miller, head of the Justice Team at the Law Society, wrote in December 2020 “for the first time in two decades, it feels like the public debate is about how to improve legal aid, instead of how to stop further cuts”. At the time of writing the Government has initiated the following: 

• the Independent Review of Criminal Legal Aid—due to report in 2021; 

• a review of the means test for legal aid, due to publish proposals in Autumn 2021; and 

• an internal review of the sustainability of civil legal aid. These reviews could provide the foundation for a positive future for legal aid over the next decade.

31 July 2021

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