No justice system is truly fair unless everyone is able to fight for their rights. But through cuts to legal aid, the government has removed a cornerstone of our society, cutting all but the richest off from our courts.
Among those who rely on legal aid: innocent people who have been wrongfully jailed, homeless children who need a roof over their head, Gurkhas and other heroes who fought for our country, and victims of domestic violence.
The government’s changes to legal aid will put justice out of reach for many ordinary people.
We the undersigned call on the government to halt or repeal all changes that have been proposed in Transforming Legal Aid, which have no mandate since the Liberal Democrat motion opposing them in September 2013. Many of the changes have been criticised by Parliament’s expert human rights committee. We believe that these changes to civil and criminal legal aid undermine the rule of law (fairness) and access to justice: they will lead to an unequal society where those with wealth and power have an unfair advantage before the law.