Saturday, 28 May 2011

Day of action

A day of action against the cuts in legal aid and advice services has been called for this Friday (3 June) by Justice for All. Marches and other events have been planned across the country by campaigners opposed to the government's proposed cuts in legal aid, which LAG estimates will leave over 650,000 people a year without advice. Justice for All also wants to highlight the impact of cuts in local government support for advice services.

In Birmingham, an area which will be badly hit by both the legal aid cuts and reductions in grants to advice agencies from the local council, a march has been organised which will leave the law courts on Corporation Street at 12 noon. Other marches and rallies will take place in Sheffield, Eastbourne, Coventry and London. High street stalls are planned in some areas such as Liverpool and Tunbridge Wells. Many Justice for All supporters are holding meetings with their local MPs to brief them on the impact of the cuts.

A bill containing the government's proposals for legal aid is expected to be published next week. The government is proposing to remove large areas of work currently covered by the legal aid scheme such as employment, divorce, benefits and education law. Most of the proposed cuts will fall on civil legal aid and according to the government's own impact assessment it will be women, people with disabilities, as well as black and minority ethnic groups which will be most badly hit.

Details of the events taking place on Friday are available on the Justice for All website. LAG would urge anyone concerned about access to justice to support one of the events. We would also ask you to contact your MP to request that s/he does not support the bill when it is before parliament unless the cuts to the scope of legal aid have been removed.

LAG is a member of the Justice for All steering group.

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