Government challenged over Legal Aid cuts

August 18, 2014

One of the most senior judges in England and Wales has thrown down a direct challenge to the government over legal aid by suggesting courts spend money in defiance of Ministry of Justice cuts to ensure justice is done.

According to The Guardian newspaper.
“Sir James Munby, the president of the family division of the high court ,has ruled the court service should pay for lawyers if the Legal Aid Agency refuses to provide them. His judgment, which raises constitutional issues about who controls public money, follows a warning from divorce solicitors that the family court system is at breaking point because so many clients are no longer represented.

“Munby’s judgment covers three separate family cases where fathers, who wish to “play a role in the life of [their] child”, have no lawyers to argue their case, while the mothers have been granted public funding to pay for legal representation.”

Danny Hudson, partner at Watsons, commented:
“Essentially, Legal Aid was a tool via which those otherwise unable to afford legal representation could do so with the intention of creating a level playing field in the courts. Without it there will be an inequality in society.”

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