Tag Archives: legal aid

Opinion: Lib Dems need to wake up to drastic implications of legal aid cuts

Lib Dem Voice last week featured a brief post on the Coalition’s plans for legal aid reform. But this is an important change that’s been passed with barely a murmur from any Lib Dem MPs, when in fact it strikes at a principle at the heart of the party – civil liberties.

The bill in which this change is contained, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, is currently making its way through the House of Commons. For something that will have fairly drastic effects on many people’s access to justice there has been relatively little talk …

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Opinion: Legal Aid – the new NHS?

The aspect of Conference I most value is the opportunity to hear first hand from Ministers, MPs and Lords the thought processes and details of what we are doing in Government and to see them listen to the feedback from those who are delivering the relevant services on the ground.

A fringe debate on the NHS I attended this week was a great example of that – an open, constructive, intelligent exchange of differing views which left a clear sense that our party in government is listening and acting and has a plan.

Contrast that with the fringe meeting convened by

Posted in Op-eds | 6 Comments

Lib Dem lawyers attack legal aid plans

Political Scrapbook this weekend has an open letter from Alistair Webster, the chair of the Liberal Democrat Lawyers Association, attacking plans for legal aid:

If the true aim is to leave a skeleton and third rate public legal system, the government should make that clear and we can judge it accordingly … I, for one, do not wish to be ashamed of the Party which I have supported since its foundation. This Bill is dire.

It’s a rather odd letter in some ways – both in its over-the-top rhetoric that is far more likely to put up the backs of the …

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Opinion: Access to justice – why Liberal Democrats should not sit on the sidelines

Next week the Government will announce legislation to reform legal aid, following a Green Paper published last November to which the Ministry of Justice received an unprecedented 5,000 responses. Whilst “legal aid reform” was in the Coalition Agreement, the scale of proposed changes has taken many aback – in order to cut the legal aid budget by £350million, Justice Ministers propose taking whole categories of law related problems out legal aid entitlement – housing and debt problems, welfare benefit issues, employment law issues, immigration cases, consumer law problems, education cases and private family law issues (eg divorce and …

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  • Lorenzo Cherin
    noncomformistradical, you are correct and compassionate here. Poorer and low paid struggle to pay, for television, too!...
  • Lorenzo Cherin
    Apologies, for typos, utilising a new device and getting used to that!...
  • Lorenzo Cherin
    noncomformistradical I do not think the tone you take there, is pleasant, in this response to my humour and eating humble pie! I admit I said few, but s...
  • cim
    There's a difference between the right to cause "offence" and the right to cause "harm". If I say (to be clear, I wouldn't) "Lib Dems are traitors and the party...
  • Tom Harney
    The world has changed over the years. I joined the party in 1959. The first meeting I attended was probably 1960. There were a few people arguing that the Iris...