Cuts to legal aid: worrying and dangerous

Minority Rights Now




save legal aidLawyers protest against cuts to legal aid, from The Times


by Paul Shannon, NICEM policy intern

Recently there have been several rounds of proposals to reform legal aid in both Northern Ireland, and England and Wales. The proposed reforms are part of a worrying trend that minimises the importance of access to justice for some of the most vulnerable people in society, including BME people. In Northern Ireland these proposals seek to cap the total amount of money that can be spent on legal aid per year to £75m, a significant decrease on previous spending.


The proposals for reform of legal aid in England and Wales should be worrying for us in Northern Ireland too. Many of those involved in the criminal justice system, including specialist immigration barristers and the Institute of Race Relations, have pointed out how these reforms could particularly damage…

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