Legal aid cuts: “Little more than rough justice” (The Justice Gap)

16 July 2014

In an article published today by online magazine The Justice Gap, Garden Court North Chambers’ Lucy Mair talks about a case where a vulnerable 18 year old risked having to represent himself in the immigration tribunal due to the Legal aid cuts.

The article is the first in a series of articles by Jack Simpson looking at the effect that the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 has had on Britain’s courts.

The idea that this man who since he was 16 has been under the care of social services would be going to a tribunal facing a representative of the government and presenting his case to an immigration judge all on his own is really sad to me” says Mair, “I think we have a duty of care to young and vulnerable people like that”.

The article also reports on an investigation last month by the Bureau for Investigative Journalism and the Independent in which of nearly 500 magistrate courts surveyed, 97 per cent said that Litigants in Person (LiPs) were having a negative impact on courts work.

Sir Justice Holman is also quoted, from a published ruling during a divorce case at Britain’s final appeal court in which he was faced with another LiP …”I have had to rummage through the admittedly slim court file…I shall do my best to reach a fair and just outcome, but I am the first to acknowledge that I am doing little more than ‘rough justice'”.

Lucy Mair is a barrister at Garden Court North Chambers.

Share this

Blog

Blog

The “Bill of Rights” will strip away vital protections 

‘Positive obligations’ ensure that the state has a responsibility to protect us from harm. MPs remove these protections at their peril. This week, the Government...

Blog

A Fairer Private Rented Sector? – An Initial Appraisal

The Government has finally published its White Paper on reform of the private rented sector – A Fairer Private Rented Sector – the question mark...

Blog

Avoiding Possession Orders at the First Hearing

Earlier this month, James Stark, from our Housing team, together with Helen Jackson of Shelter, who sits as a deputy district judge, gave a presentation...

Blog

Immigration and Nationality issues in Family Proceedings: Five things to remember

The UK explicitly adopted a “hostile environment for illegal migration” 10 years ago today, but in immigration and family proceedings there are a variety of...

Sign up to our mailing list

Our mailing list is dedicated to professionals with an interest in our work.

Sign up