Following the publication of the Lord Chief Justice Annual Report, the spotlight falls on his comments on the affordability of Justice - Justice delayed is Justice denied - but, with little or no access to funding to support vulnerable people, particularly in family law cases - it is Justice unavailable!
Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC, the new chair of the Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, said: “The British justice system is the envy of the world. However, as this report [by the lord chief justice] suggests, the reputation of our courts and their ability to serve the public is under threat. “Cuts to legal aid have resulted in the courts being flooded with people representing themselves without legal advice or representation, including those in emotionally difficult circumstances such as losing access to their children, facing the loss of their home, or fighting deportation to a country where they might be persecuted.
“The real hardship being faced in the family courts is reflected in the recent Bar pro bono unit statistics – family case applications increased by 32% in 2013 and 60% in 2014. Justice is not a luxury, and everyone should be able to defend their rights through the legal system.”