UK: LASPO voted in House of Lords, soon to be sent for royal assent

April 26, 2012 at 9:14 pm Leave a comment

LASPO, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill was approved by the House of Lords and is expected soon to be granted royal assent. By its purpose the Bill aims to reduce the scope of coverage of the allegedly world’s most expensive legal aid system. For many people the Bill is nothing less but huge set back of access to justice. In one piece the Guardian called it “LASPO and the punishment of poverty”.

Some of the most important provisions concerning access to justice:
– Legal aid will be available only to people on means tested benefits
– Scope of legal aid work is reduced – i.e. cases against the Crown Prosecution Office, police and Home office will not be eligible for legal aid
– abolishes the Legal Services Commission
– Regulates success fees and prohibits recoverability of success fees and after-the-event insurance premiums
– Bans referral fees

Commenting on LASPO sabour’s shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said: ‘The bill is a sad and tatty chapter in the story of post war access to justice. The onslaught on our precious legal aid system is an act of vandalism for which this Tory-led government will be forever remembered.’

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Entry filed under: Access to Justice, UK.

Access to Justice jobs: Postdoctoral researcher on access to justice and institutional development in Libya Draft United Nations Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems

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