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That this House is deeply concerned by growing evidence, including reports by Amnesty International and the Law Society, that cuts to legal aid since April 2013, under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), have left thousands of the most disadvantaged in society, including children and people with learning disabilities, without the legal advice and support essential to access justice and equality before the law; notes that, in the first year after LASPO came into force, the number of cases in which legal aid was granted fell by 46 per cent from 925,000 to 497,000; further notes that the number of legal aid providers has fallen by 20 per cent from 2,991 to 2,393, leading to the emergence of advice deserts across England and Wales where the provision of free legal advice is disappearing, especially in housing law; shares the view of the Law Society, as expressed in its June 2017 report, Access denied? LASPO four years on, that LASPO has severely undermined access to justice and that this is resulting in the escalation of legal problems and knock-on costs elsewhere in the public sector; welcomes the Government's commitment to undertake a wholsesale review of the impact of LASPO by April 2018; and calls on the Government both to ensure that the review assesses the wider impact of LASPO on public services and to commence and conclude the review as a matter of urgency.
Total number of signatures: 83
Showing 83 out of 83