The Haldane Society has responded to Justice's consultation on "Delivering Civil Justice in an Age of Austerity".
Whilst we understand that the purpose of the working party’s consultation is to find cheaper ways of delivering justice, we do not agree with the current prevailing economic philosophy that severe cuts in public services need to be made. We continue to argue that legal aid should be expanded, not cut. When the legal aid scheme was first introduced, in 1949, around 80% of the population was financially eligible for legal aid in comparison with less than a third today. We believe that financial eligibility should return to the levels that it was in 1949. The costs of this could be recouped through taxation.