Legal aid news update – 30 July 2014

  • 30 July marked the 65th anniversary of legal aid, as the Legal Advice and Assistance Act 1949 was enacted on 30 July 1949. Andrew Caplen, the president of the Law Society, said legal aid is “too important to be put into retirement”.
  • An opinion poll commissioned by Legal Action Group revealed that only one in four people support the government’s cuts to legal aid, as reported by the Guardian and the Law Society Gazette.
  • The High Court ruled on 15 July that the residence test for civil legal aid proposed by the government is discriminatory and unlawful. YLAL’s briefing on the judgment is here.
  • Resolution said this week that legal aid cuts have left the family court system “at breaking point”.
  • Both the Daily Mail and the Guardian reported that the killers of Lee Rigby, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, received over £200,000 in legal aid for the defence at their criminal trial.
  • The Times ran a comment piece by Gary Slapper (behind a paywall here) arguing that access to legal advice for all is essential and that no one should be below the law.