Family justice minister Simon Hughes has called for an urgent review of the impact of legal aid changes on children’s rights, following a report earlier this week that 70% of children cases lack representation.
Responding to the report by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, Legal Aid Changes Since April 2013: Child Rights Impact Assessment, the Lib Dem minister said: ‘I have asked the Ministry of Justice to review the findings in this report. We have had to make difficult decisions to protect legal aid for the long term but this shouldn’t be at the expense of the rights of children.
‘If there are gaps in the new system I am determined they are addressed urgently.’
The report, which studied the withdrawal of legal aid from most family cases in April 2013, found that nearly three-quarters of private family cases involve one or both parties without legal representation.