‘Don’t put legal aid into retirement’

Topics: Law Society activity,Legal aid and access to justice,Government & politics

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  • Andrew Caplen

Legal aid is ‘too important to be put into retirement’ the Law Society’s president Andrew Caplen will tell members this week, the 65th anniversary of the start of the service.

The modern legal aid system was created by the Attlee government in the Legal Advice and Assistance Act 1949, enacted on 30 July 1949.


Caplen (pictured) will put forward a defence of the system that has enabled millions to benefit over the years. ‘Access to justice is about ensuring that nobody is shut out from our legal system. Not the homeless, not the jobless, not the victims of domestic violence,’ he will say.

‘There can be no access to justice when citizens, especially those who are vulnerable or marginalised, do not understand their rights, do not understand the legal system or cannot afford to obtain redress.’

Caplen will highlight the impact the government’s civil legal aid cuts have had on access to justice.

Readers' comments (2)

  • But will anything change or is it just more blah blah blah and no actual action?

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  • legal aid has been sacrificed in order to shore up its sister service the NHS which became fat and bloated and continued to demand more and more
    If the poor and ill need medical help they surely need legal help too, or the lack of the latter will create even more stress ( illness) than they can cope with in this fast paced complex world.
    Telling them to "do law online" or use mediation is no substitute for the real thing, proper advice about the legal position as it affects them personally.
    This is going to end badly and the intelligent know it.

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