Government changes to legal aid could disadvantage country sports workers requiring legal advice.
Ministers intend to reduce the government’s legal aid expenses by £350 million. This means large areas of civil law, including employment and personal injury, will no longer be eligible for legal aid. Gamekeepers and stalkers may not be able to afford expensive solicitors’ fees and be forced to take advice from a general solicitor with no experience in firearms or wildlife law.
Bill Harriman of BASC said: “BASC is concerned that the proposals to change legal aid could disadvantage ordinary people by denying them fair access to justice. They will restrict choice and lead to an inequality of arms between the state and the citizen.”
Richard Miller, head of legal aid at the Law Society, said: “We have warned government consistently that, as well as all the knock-on costs, the social consequences will be damaging to the whole of society, not just the vulnerable who will take the worst hit of all.”
A consultation has been launched by the Ministry of Justice. To respond, go to http://bit.ly/legalconsultation
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