Government pledges funding for free legal support
The UK Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has today announced that it will invest £10.4 million in 59 charities providing free legal advice for people facing housing, family, welfare or debt issues.
The Improving Outcomes Through Legal Support grant helps recipients tackle their problems before they reach court. It also offers free legal representation to people whose cases do require actioning in the courts.
Law Society of England and Wales president Lubna Shuja said: “It is good to see the MoJ has acknowledged the importance of early advice, which can resolve problems before they escalate and therefore play a key role in preventing poor health, debt, homelessness and many other issues.
“However, the best way to ensure people can access that early advice is through a sustainably funded legal aid system, rather than expecting advice-providers to live hand-to-mouth on precarious government grants.
“The Law Society has long called for a more strategic approach to legal support for people who need it. Widening legal aid for early advice in social welfare and family cases, as well as investing in legal aid services to make the system more sustainable, would better provide people with the access to justice they deserve.”