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Legal Aid Reform

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Published on Jun 1, 2012

The Effect of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 on Legal Aid for Family Cases.

The legal aid system was created in 1949 as part of the development of the post-war Welfare State, alongside the National Health Service. It provides funding both for legal advice and out-of-court representation by lawyers, for example in negotiating the settlement of disputes, and -- should it come to this -- legal representation in court. However, this is set to change in April 2013, when the controversial Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 is due to come into force. The Act raises profound concerns about access to justice, largely removing legal aid from many of the areas of law where it has previously been available.

Ms Jo Miles discusses the potential effects of the new Act on access to justice, especially in relation to difficult family law cases.

Ms Miles is Fellow and Director of Studies at Trinity College, Cambridge, and a Senior Lecturer in Law, specialising in Family Law. She is also Academic door tenant at 1 Hare Court, Assistant editor of the Child and Family Law Quarterly. and an Elected member of the Executive Council of the International Society of Family Law. In 2005 Ms Miles was seconded for two years to the Law Commission for England and Wales to work on the financial consequences of relationship breakdown. For more information about Ms Miles, please refer to her profile at http://www.law.cam.ac.uk/people/acade...

Law in Focus is a collection of short videos featuring academics from the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law, addressing legal issues in current affairs and the news. These issues are examples of the many which challenge researchers and students studying undergraduate and postgraduate law at the Faculty.

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