Legal aid reforms postponed: Resolution statement

News Release

01 Dec 2011

Wednesday 1 December 2011

Legal aid reforms postponed: Resolution statement

Responding to the Government’s announcement that legal aid reforms are to be postponed from October 2012 to April 2013, Resolution's Chair David Allison said:

"We welcome today's announcement, and are pleased that Ministers have listened to the very serious concerns expressed by Resolution members and so many others who are at the coalface of supporting families. At the same time, it is important to remember that this is only a delay in implementation, rather than a significant policy change, which is what is actually required.

"Nevertheless, we hope that the Government will take this opportunity to think again about the Legal Aid Bill. We have said from the start of the process that the proposed reforms will have a detrimental impact on access to justice for the most vulnerable people in society; will clog up the courts as a result of more litigants in person; and will not actually save the government a significant amount of money as a whole.

"We know that around 90% of divorce cases are resolved outside the courtroom, but in most cases this can only happen with the support of legal professionals.

"We are therefore looking forward to working with Ministers to ensure that there are real changes to the Bill, rather than simply postponing measures that will take legal aid away from families who need it the most."