Legal Aid

Since 1949 it has been possible to apply for financial help with legal costs under the Legal Aid provisions. These were intended specifically for those on low incomes, thereby ensuring that all citizens are able to access legal advice and representation, much needed in a complex system in which legal fees can build up in a bewildering spiral, or so it may seem to the ordinary person.

Of course, this has cost the tax-payers billions of pounds, but in 2012 the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) reduced the number of people eligible to receive Legal Aid. Only serious cases are now considered, according to set criteria. However, there are charities such as Citizens Advice, the Law Centres and LawWorks clinics among others, which can offer assistance.

Unfortunately, it is thought that LASPO is a factor in the increased number of people representing themselves in court with limited knowledge of what to do or say.

(Image: Rawpixel Ltd at / CC BY 2.0)


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