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Law Society celebrates 65 years of legal aid

30 July 2014

Today, we celebrate 65 years of fair and equal access to justice due to legal aid.

The modern legal aid system was created by the Attlee government in the Legal Advice and Assistance Act 1949, enacted on 30 July 1949.

It has performed a crucial role in providing fair and equal access to justice to those most at risk of being excluded from our legal system.

The homeless, jobless, victims of domestic violence and millions of vulnerable citizens have benefited from fair and equal access to justice.

While an anniversary should be a time of celebration, 600,000 people have lost access to civil legal aid due to the cuts introduced by the government in April last year.

Cuts in legal aid are a false economy as the cost often transferred due to more court time being frequently needed where parties are unrepresented.

Despite the freezes and cuts in pay over the past 20 years solicitors across England and Wales have devoted their careers to helping others and have represented some of the most vulnerable in both the civil and the criminal courts.

Share your thoughts

Share your thoughts on why legal aid is just as important today using the Twitter hashtag #LegalAid65.

Video message from the president

In the video below, Law Society president Andrew Caplen explains why legal aid is too important to be put into retirement.

 

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