Justice is something that everybody should have access to regardless of their ability to pay for the legal expertise and the process they have to take to get it.
Ordinary people should be able to effectively challenge unjust decisions and obtain quality legal services that meet their individual needs.
There is no question that access to justice has been significantly hindered by introductions of various new rules by the current government.
You might not think that this will effect you but you might be surprised how widespread the changes are and how every day, ordinary people are struggling due to these changes.
The things that effect ordinary people include;
- Cuts to legal aid which can stop you getting help for funding anything from bringing a claim against your employer for mistreating you in the workplace or dismissing you illegally to help with family issues for people who have been domestically abused.
- Cuts to legal advice services which means if you need advice about benefits, housing or debts the many advice services that used to be available to you have been diminished and it may be very difficult to obtain the advice you need without paying for it.
- Significant increase in Court fees which means that if you want to bring a claim against someone because, for example, they owe you money which can happen a lot if you run a small business, the cost of doing so and therefore the risk to you of doing so has become significantly higher.
Further they introduced new rules in terms of personal injury claims which meant that Solicitors can no longer recover their full costs from the other side even if they win your claim and this has forced most firms to have to charge their clients a percentage of their damages in order to be able to continue to provide a quality legal service.
In addition the rules stop you being able to recover the cost of any insurance you take out to cover you from any negative repercussions of bringing your claim which means that if you take out such insurance, the premium will also come out of your damages if you win.
The legal community, amongst many others have been very active in campaigning against the changes that have already been made and the planned changes for the future.
It is important that you are aware of your rights and how they may be effected. Even if you don’t think this is something that has any impact on you right now, you never know how you or your friends and family could be effected in the future.