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Gauke updates MPs on review into implementation of legal aid changes

7 February 2019 (updated on 7 February 2019)

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Justice Secretary David Gauke made a statement to the House of Commons on the post-implementation review of changes to legal aid that were introduced in 2012.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government (2010-2015) passed the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, also known as LASPO. The Act brought in a number of reforms to the justice system. This included major changes to legal aid - provision of assistance to those who are otherwise unable to afford legal representation.

In 2018, the Ministry of Justice started an evidence-based post-implementation review of LASPO.

The Justice Secretary told MPs, "We want to move forward with a new vision focusing on the individual and their needs, whether that be through legal aid or otherwise".

Responding on behalf of the Opposition, Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon said,

"Legal advice for welfare benefits cases has been cut by an eye-watering 89%." The UN's Special Rapporteur labelled those legal aid cuts a denial of their human right to a remedy."

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