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Amnesty's call for LASPO review backed by Bar Council

Bar Council

2 min read Partner content

Chairman of the Bar, Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC responds to Amnesty International report on legal aid cuts in the UK.   


Amnesty’s call for a review of LASPO is a timely intervention in the debate about our system of justice.

The Government has committed to a review of LASPO three to five years after its implementation. We continue to urge Government to start this review and to complete it before further reforms are advanced.

We know that successive cuts to legal aid and substantial increases in court fees have restricted access to legal representation for the most vulnerable in society. What we don’t know is the extent of the problems now faced, and no assessment has been carried out of the how these cuts have impacted the individuals and communities affected. 

We know that the cuts are leading to an increasing demand for pro bono work from the bar and from solicitors which cannot be sustained in the long term. 

Future reform, including the greater use of technology throughout HMCTS, has the potential to improve our justice system for ordinary citizens, but before implementing further reform, we must have a clear understanding as to the current state of our justice system and the extent to which the problems we face have been caused by past reforms in particular the cuts to social welfare and family legal aid and the increased court fees.

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