LASPO has not just failed, it has caused untold damage to our justice system and to access to justice - Chair of the Bar
The review itself cannot and must not gloss over what barristers and other legal professionals, the judiciary and the public are seeing happening in our courts, says Andrew Walker QC, Chair of the Bar.
LASPO has failed. Whilst savings have been made to the Ministry of Justice's budget spreadsheets, the Government is still unable to show that those savings have not been diminished or extinguished, or even outweighed, by knock-on costs to other government departments, local authorities, the NHS and other publicly funded organisations.
Nor do we accept that the reforms have discouraged unnecessary or adversarial litigation, or ensured that legal aid is targeted at those who need it, both of which the Act was billed as seeking to achieve. If anything, LASPO has had the opposite effect, and has denied access to the justice system for individuals and families with genuine claims, just when they need it the most."
LASPO has not just failed: it has caused untold damage to our justice system and to access to justice. The Ministry and the Government cannot and must not hide from this. The review itself cannot and must not gloss over what barristers and other legal professionals, the judiciary and the public are seeing happening in our courts. The fact there are significant delays in the family and civil courts is a red flag. For those at the front-line, the results are clear: the true costs of LASPO, and the harm it has caused, are far greater than the Government has admitted. We need a significant change of direction to rectify five years of failure."
WATCH: The Bar Council have released the following video highlighting the impact of justice cuts.