Last November the Law Society launched a campaign calling for the Government to reinstate legal aid for early advice in housing and family cases. The campaign - which has been well received with positive coverage in the press, on social media and in Parliament - followed the release of research from Ipsos MORI showing a clear statistical link between receiving professional legal advice early and resolving a problem sooner.
The lack of early legal advice can create unnecessary costs for the taxpayer due to cases going to court which could have been resolved earlier. Worsening legal problems can also create other knock-on costs for the public purse through issues such as poor health, homelessness and debt.
The Government announced in October '17 that they are reviewing the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, and it is expected that the review will conclude this summer. In order to press home the early advice campaign message at a critical time, the Law Society are inviting practitioners to write to their local MP, asking them to urge the Lord Chancellor, Rt Hon David Gauke MP, to reintroduce legal aid for early advice.
To simplify and speed-up the process of writing to your MP, the Society has created an online tool and template letter that you can use - it takes just a few minutes to complete, and adds your voice to this important campaign.