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Denial of justice

The rule of law depends on all having equal access to justice, irrespective of wealth, say Oliver Carter and Rachel Francis

8 September 2015

As the name Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) suggests, we are committed to supporting the provision of publicly funded legal help for people who are unable to pay for advice and representation.

While ruinous cuts to civil
and criminal legal aid in the
last five years have led to demonstrations, judicial review challenges, and even direct action by the legal profession, the government has also been restricting access to justice by drastically increasing court fees.

The national media has recently generated interest in the criminal courts charge after concerns it creates a perverse financial incentive - or perhaps imperative - for innocent but impecunious people to plead guilty. The charge was introduced in April 2015, is non-discretionary, ranges from £150 to £1,200, and in recent weeks there have been several reports of magistrates resigning in protest at being forced ...

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