Bar Council calls on Chancellor to provide £55m to help Covid-stricken courts
A newly published response to the 2021 Budget from the Bar Council calls for an increase in funding for the justice system.
- Ahead of this year’s Budget, the body representing around 17,000 barristers demands a cash injection to the justice system to improve the “dirty and unsafe” conditions plaguing courts throughout England and Wales.
- 42 more Nightingale Courts requested to deal with backlog in cases, with just 18 operational at present. A decade of cuts has left barristers fearing for their safety in a court estate that is “not fit for purpose”.
- The Government is also urged to make non-means-tested legal aid available for victims of domestic abuse and to introduce early access to legal advice to deal with rise in welfare issues during the pandemic. Someone might be evicted from their home for not paying their rent, due to their benefits having been wrongly stopped. Restoring legal aid for early advice on benefits matters would mean that the eviction stage would never be reached.
Read the full response here.