The availability of Legal Aid in domestic abuse cases is set to improve after the government relented on excessively strict evidence rules introduced by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).
Those rules included arbitrary time limits imposed on evidence of domestic abuse, and resulted in nearly half of all victims being unable to afford to get the professional legal advice they required. The changes to LASPO see a broadening of the types of evidence that can be accepted for victims to access legal aid.
The Law Society has welcomed the reforms, which
will make it easier for victims to qualify for legal aid and access essential help and support. Christina Blacklaws, vice president of the Law Society, went on to say
The impact of domestic abuse is often lifelong. Any time limit imposed on victims of abuse is inappropriate.
The new regulations can be viewed here.