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Long-awaited government review of cuts to civil legal aid welcomed

31 October 2017

News that the government is to review the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) was today welcomed by the Law Society of England and Wales.

Law Society President Joe Egan said: “This act meant hundreds of thousands of people eligible for legal aid on 31 March 2013 became ineligible the very next day. Even those in England and Wales whom parliament vowed at the time of LASPO should be able to access legal help are unable to get the advice and representation they need.”

The Law Society of England and Wales published its own reckoning of LASPO Access denied? LASPO four years on in June.

Joe Egan said: “Our report suggests legal aid cuts have actually increased pressure on wider public services - growing numbers of people representing themselves in court, and escalating legal problems because of the removal of legal aid for early advice.

“This post-implementation appraisal by government is long-awaited and needs to be comprehensive.

“We look forward to contributing to this vitally important review.

“If people cannot access advice or protect their rights, then effectively those rights do not exist.”

Notes to editors

The Law Society report includes 25 recommendations to government, focusing on issues including increasing children's access to legal aid, reintroducing legal aid for early advice, and improving Exceptional Case Funding and the legal aid means test.

About the Law Society

The Law Society is the independent professional body that works globally to support and represent solicitors, promoting the highest professional standards, the public interest and the rule of law.

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