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Threat to Legal Aid

October 31st, 2011 by

Email your MP - Manifesto for Family Justice

Photograph by orangesparrow (Flickr)

This Wednesday, MPs vote on big changes to the English legal system that will see huge cuts to legal aid.

These changes could stop thousands of vulnerable families and children from getting the legal advice they need. A coalition of expert organisations that stand up for families at risk, including The Women’s Institute, the Assocation of Lawyers for Children, The Bar Council and Women’s Aid have put together a report  to convince MPs of the danger posed by these cuts.

There’s still time to stop these cuts from happening – we need to make sure MPs read the evidence before Wednesday’s vote by emailing them the report.

The dangers the report sets out include the risk that victims of domestic violence and child abuse could be forced to represent themselves, and so be questioned in court by their abusers.

These changes will hit the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest. Senior lawyers have warned that the changes will be bad for children, bad for women, and bad for families.

38 Degrees members can help make sure the MPs read the independent evidence, not just the government spin. Otherwise, there’s a risk that MPs will just follow government instructions rather than trying to understand for themselves what the changes mean.

When we work together, 38 Degrees members can push better protection for the most vulnerable – earlier this year, we helped get the government to sign up to better protection for victims of human trafficking. Let’s make sure legal aid cuts don’t deny justice to the most vulnerable – can you email your MP now.

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  • http://twitter.com/philjvtaylor Phil Taylor

    Laura,

    The report you mention was printed and published by the Bar
    Council, effectively the trade union for barristers.  It is really hard to work out here whether
    this is just producer interests squealing rather than real people being
    affected. 
     
    The Bar Council press release:

    http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/news/press/902.html

    pointed out that the document has been mailed to all
    MPs.  You are just asking people to bug
    MPs to read something they already have in front of them.

  • http://www.grenvillemills.com Grenville Mills

    Laura
    Do you have any update from the vote? I have so far been unable to get any sensibly feedback from my local MP, Jim Fitzpatrick, Poplar and Limehouse. He is his response,’It doesn’t really matter how I will be voting Mr Mills as the Coalition have the numbers to push this through. There are parts of the Bill we are opposing, parts we are trying to amend and parts we support. I will send ou a report afterwards’ (not received).