As the above article from My lawyer shows, it’s not only in England & Wales where there is a furore over the proposed legal aid cuts. This story is about ongoing protests in Canada.
There are many argumnents about legal aid, on moral, legal and financial grounds. There is little doubt that the legal aid ssystem in England & Wales has become very expensive and in some areas of law, Human Rights cases particularly springing to mind, the system has been exploited. The current system also isn’t great for lawyers, there is now huge bureacracy in form filling aside from the low rtaes payable for this type of work.
On the financial side, the argument goes that whilst legal aid is expensive, remove it and cots scould be even higher due to additional wasted court time of litigants in person, additional burdens in Local Authorities dealing with individuals not separately advised and so on and so forth. Clearly, this is a genuinely difficult issue, but there is also a wider econmoc issue surely …. with strikes in the Uk this week wand public sector workers outrgaed that their pensions are being cut back, is this really symptomatic more of a new economic reality … we simply can’t afford, as a country, to pay for these things anymore.
Looking at what’s going on around the world can at least give an insight into the fact that we are genuinely in a new economic era internationally. These same issues are happening in other countries. None of this means we are in favour of cuts, this simply demonstrates, as is evident from the economic crisis overall that individuals, companies, local authoririties and Governments cannot continue to live beyond their means.