The Guardian has reported on a doubling in requests for Pro Bono legal assistance over the past three year owing to cuts in civil legal aid. Lightfoots’ Madeleine Harrington has this comment:
This article highlights the difficulties being faced by countless people who, since the removal of much legal aid for civil, family and social welfare legal advice in 2013, have struggled with or been denied access to justice. Where limited provision for legal aid remains people have to meet very stringent criteria to prove they are eligible. In some cases legal aid is simply not available, such as getting employers to pay outstanding wages or challenging unfair benefit decisions.
The recession has increased poverty and reduced support services leaving charities and other support services struggling to cope with the increased demand. The effects of the huge reduction in government and local authority funding over the past few years has been difficult for many local advice charities to overcome and has led to many services having to close down.
In recognition of the importance of local advice charities, a team from Lightfoots are taking part in the Oxford Legal Walk to raise funds to enable local legal advice charities to help vulnerable people in need of advice to get help they would otherwise have been denied. If you would like to sponsor us to help raise vital funds for the Access to Justice Foundation please follow this link.