Over the past three weeks the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has received two significant setbacks to its austerity based decision to cut legal aid. The first setback was a poll, released on 30th July, revealing that public opinion had hardened against the cutbacks. The results of the poll were released on the 65th anniversary of the service and showed that fewer than one in four now backed the cuts.
The second setback was from a direct challenge from Sir James Munby, one of the most senior judges in England and Wales, who suggested that courts spend money in defiance of Ministry of Justice cuts to ensure justice is done. Sir James, the president of the family division of the high court ruled that the court service should pay for lawyers if the Legal Aid Agency refuses to provide them. The judge provided similar judgements across three cases having previously adjourned one of the cases and subsequently asked the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, to explain how the case could proceed without legal aid.
At O’Garra’s we welcome this news. Our service and commitment does not stop at the Courtroom door. We very much support the rights of our clients who become prisoners which is why fully support the public sentiment and the direct challenge to Chris Grayling from Sir James Munby. If you want advice and representation on prisoners and their rights find out more here.
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