Legal Aid reforms challenged
The government has suffered two further defeats over its planned legal aid reforms. Peers have voted in favour of amendments to retain funding for children and young people.
Samantha Lee, a Partner and specialist Family and Childcare lawyer at Swain & Co said, “I welcome this development as it is crucial that the interests of children and young people are properly represented and championed.”
At third reading stage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders bill, the House of Lords voted 232 votes for and 220 against to ensure that children are automatically entitled to legal aid. Samantha Lee said, “This shows the strength of opposition to this aspect of the legal aid reforms.”
In a second amendment the house voted 228-215 to retain legal aid for all clinical negligence cases involving children. Swain & Co has a specialist medical and clinical negligence department and specialist lawyer Graeme Swain said, “Without legal aid it would be exceedingly difficult, and often impossible, for claims involving cerebral palsy or birth abnormalities to be pursued.”
The government has now been defeated 11 times by peers over the bill, the second largest number of defeats in a bill ever.
Sadly the House of Commons is likely to look to reverse the decision proposed by the House of Lords.