The year 2019 will mark the 70th anniversary of the Legal Aid and Advice Act 1949. It was the start of a golden age in England and Wales when ordinary people and the poorest in our society were able to have equal footing before the law. Where ordinary people with a right that had been wronged or an injustice done could obtain government support and afford to get a solicitor and get that right reinstated or that wrong rectified before the court.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Legal Aid saw a growth in legal services and a growth in people’s civil rights. But what use is having a right if you cannot afford to enforce it?
Historically we have been involved in assisting ordinary people obtain Justice with the help of legal Aid. Today however, the granting of legal aid is governed by the strict controls set down in the Access to Justice Act 1999 and supplementary legislation. More recent was the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. Today, Legal aid is only available in very few types of civil cases. While in family cases it is for cases where domestic violence can be proven. Unlike the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, Legal Aid is no longer available unless for limited circumstances and is means tested.
The effective collapse of Legal Aid in civil cases, the increases in court fees, court closures, underfunding of the court system is progressively eroding access to justice for ordinary people, and undermining their ability to exercise their legal rights.
In our view, working in this you can see unfairness in many parts of life. In our view it is unfair. A wrong is a wrong whether it happens to a person of wealth or a person from the poorest of households. For these reasons we at Paul Norton & Co. believe that this is inequitable and we can try to help where we can. For these reason we
- We offer fixed fee services for most of our work. Ensuring that people on a tight budget get to obtain quality legal services at a price that they can afford.
- For all new family cases we offer a free 30 minute surgery with a family law solicitor.
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