Government reforms to legal aid in April 2013 were a disaster for those who need to access the justice system to protect or enforce their rights. Access to advice on family law, housing and homelessness, welfare benefits, employment, debt, judicial review, education, immigration…all decimated by the reforms. Hundreds of thousands of people have been unable to get advice each year as a direct result of the reforms. Large areas of the country are now ‘advice deserts’ with very few or maybe even no lawyers able to provide specialist advice.
The Bar Pro Bono Unit has now been rebranded as Advocate. Please note that constituents may still be referred to Advocate even when the case is not eligible for legal aid. They may also be able to assist when the case is eligible for legal aid if: the individual can't afford the contributions, the legal aid has run out, or if there are no legal aid lawyers in the area. For further information please click here.