Four years ago, the coalition government implemented the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). Hundreds of thousands of people who were eligible for legal aid on 31 March 2013 became ineligible the very next day. Four years on, the Law Society has conducted a review of the legal aid changes introduced under the act. This review concludes that:
1. Legal aid is no longer available for many of those who need itThe review includes 25 recommendations to government, focusing on issues including increasing children's access to legal aid, reintroducing legal aid for early advice, and improving Exceptional Case Funding and the legal aid means test. The report is available via Law Society 29th June 2017.
2. Those eligible for legal aid find it hard to access it
3. Wide gaps in provision are not being addressed
4. LASPO has had a wider and detrimental impact on the state and society