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.