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Bar Council calls on next government to review LASPO

Risk of ‘two-tier justice’

On 8 May 2017 the Bar Council published its General Election 2017 Manifesto for Justice. The document says that the high reputation of the justice system, based on key core values, is at risk. In particular:

"We are at risk of developing two-tier justice. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) removed whole areas of law from the scope of legal aid. Five years later nearly half a million people a year no longer receive legal advice on employment, housing, welfare and family issues. This does not save money for the country because unresolved legal problems create other expensive problems for society. The social costs cannot be ignored. The courts, especially the family courts, are filled with litigants in person; those who cannot afford lawyers and for whom the state now makes no provision. Many who cannot afford to be represented do not engage in the legal process at all. Disengagement of sectors of society can lead to a growing sense of injustice which of itself risks populism and extremism."

The Bar Council calls upon the next government to:

To read the document, click here.