Legal aid cuts impact human rights

Parliamentary committee on human rights raises 'grave concerns' over access to justice.

Legal aid cuts impact access to human rights

In a report published 19 July 2018, parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights has concluded that cuts to legal aid raise ‘grave concerns for access to justice, the rule of law, and enforcement of human rights in the UK’.

The Joint Committee is responsible for scrutinising legislation to ensure compatibility with human rights and its ‘grave concerns’ echo the Law Society’s position that cuts have left ‘legal aid deserts’ in areas of the UK.

The Law Society continues to raise concerns about the impact on access to justice for vast numbers of people across the UK, particularly the most vulnerable. Its announcement of the Joint Committee report is here

The Joint Committee’s report – Enforcing Human Rights – examines the impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 on access to legal aid in civil cases, and concludes:

The impact of LASPO on access to civil legal aid has been dramatic… LASPO has had deleterious and discriminatory effects on particular groups. For example, the revisions to the financial eligibility criteria for legal aid have had a disproportionate impact on various groups, including disabled people, women, children and migrants.