Reasons for the Review (from the website)
Access to justice is a social good: the ability to participate in public redress or resolution systems is a measure of the health of any system of government, particularly a democracy and is essential to the effective maintenance of the rule of law. In recent years, a significant gap has grown between the rights and remedies granted by government and the available means of accessing them. The Law Society was instrumental in setting up the legal aid system, and now, 60 years on, has concerns about access to justice, the funding of legal aid, costs, contracting decisions and sustainability.
The Law Society believes that the government’s obligation to society to ensure access to justice has to begin with the realisation that decisions as to funding should flow from an assessment of need rather than from an arbitrary budget allocation.
Our key message to government is that you do not make savings to the legal aid budget by cutting the legal aid system, but by tackling the drivers of need for legal advice, such as waste, poor administrative decision-making, needlessly complex justice systems, and unnecessary and unclear laws. For more, click here.