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Legal Aid Cuts: Top judge warns of risk to rule of law

Legal Aid cuts risk causing lawlessness, warns the UK’s top judge.

Lord Neuberger is president of the Supreme Court, and says that the legal aid cuts posed a risk to the rule of law in the county, which could undermine people’s belief in the democratic system.

Graeme Swain, Managing partner of Swain & Co Solicitors, says, “Rich people can afford legal advice and representation as needed, but poorer people need access to justice too. When there is a gap there is the risk of denying access to justice which threatens the rule of law in a country.”

Lord Neuberger’s comments are his first since taking up the post in Autumn last year. He is concerned people will become disillusioned with the government and the democratic system as a whole.

He is concerned that at more and more people feel this way, undermining occurs or people take the law into their own hands, or both. This is not good for the country or for people.

Lord Neuberger also criticised Theresa May for claiming that Judges are making the country more dangerous by blocking the deportation of foreign criminals.

Graeme explains, “If ministers are unhappy with the law, they can appeal. If they are unhappy with the appeal, they have the ability to change the law.”

“By publicly making comments, the minister and government undermine our judicial system and threaten the independence of the Judges.”

The comments come just weeks before the Legal Aid cuts come into force on 1st April 2013, which removes legal aid from civil cases such as debt, welfare benefits, family law and some housing.

We support Lord Neuberger’s concerns that the legal aid cuts have gone too far.

 

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