Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Absent Penalties

Frances Gibb, Legal Editor of The Times, reports today on a Ministry of Justice document 'obtained' by the newspaper which outlines £900m potential cuts in court services. The proposals include a reduction in 'double representation' in public law child care (the hearings considering whether a child should be removed from its home) and plans to 'descope' some legal aid activities.

On the same page there is a link to another article by Frances Gibb published yesterday that I missed. This relates to the launch of the Access to Justice Foundation that seeks to change legislation that prevents a litigant who wins their case and is represented on a pro bono (free) basis from seeking costs from the loosing side.

I'm not sure what the implications are for Scotland, but it occurs to me that if there are further cuts in legal aid more people will not be able to afford a solicitor and forced to represent themselves and, like those who are represented on a pro bono basis, the other side can get off lightly with financial/litigation misconduct because there are no cost penalties.


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