Have a question?
033 3772 0409

Child Care Solicitors

Cuts to Legal Aid “have harmed children’s rights” (7 April 2015)

Date: 07/04/2015
Duncan Lewis, Child Care Solicitors, Cuts to Legal Aid “have harmed children’s rights”

A new report by the Joint Committee on Human Rights has said that government reforms to Legal Aid have had a “significant effect” on children’s rights.

The committee is calling for the next government to reconsider some of the cuts made to Legal Aid by the coalition government – and undo some of the harm” caused by the cuts to Legal Aid, which mainly affect some family law cases, private housing cases and criminal cases.

The Law Society Gazette reports that Chair of the committee, Dr Hywel Francis, said the government’s commitment to have due regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child regarding policy decisions and law making was “a bold and welcome step”.

However, the committee’s report says that changes to Legal Aid have taken a toll on children’s rights.

The committee also said that some policies were in “flagrant contravention” of the Human Rights Act – including the proposal to introduce a residence test.

The Conservative Party’s Justice Secretary Chris Grayling made Legal Aid reforms a centre part of the government’s austerity measures, with divorcing couples most often made to pay the costs of their divorce. The Ministry of Justice introduced an Exceptional Case Funding scheme, but figures show that, out of more than 1,500 applications for funding, just 69 were accepted as being eligible for public funding.

The government has also placed more emphasis on mediation in contested divorce cases, with the divorcing parties paying for mediation services.

However, the charity JustRights has said that it warned the coalition government about the potential effects of Legal Aid cuts on children and young adults caught up in family cases.

Co-chair of JustRights James Kenrick said:

“We are pleased that the committee recognises the disastrous impact of Legal Aid reforms – and clearly accepts that there are, in fact, ‘firm grounds’ for a review.”

Dr Hywel Francis – who was Labour MP for Aberavon until Parliament was dissolved in March – said that in some areas of the law, matters had improved, however.

“In many areas, things have improved over this Parliament as a result,” he said.

“Although the momentum set in train in 2010 has slowed considerably in some areas.”

Dr Francis, who is 67, has said he will be standing down at the 2015 General Election in May.

Duncan Lewis Children Lawyers

Duncan Lewis children lawyers can advise on all aspects of child care law, including child contact and residence following divorce or informal or formal separation, as well as:

• Adoption
• Care proceedings
• Child abuse
• Children taken into Local Authority care
• Court of Protection
• International parent child abduction
• Wills & trusts.

Duncan Lewis family lawyers advise on family law and child care matters under UK law and Islamic law.

For expert legal advise on any family law or child care matter, contact Duncan Lewis children lawyers on 020 7923 4020.

For all Child Care related matter contact us now.Contact Us

Call us now on 033 3772 0409 or click here to send online enquiry.
Offices Outside London
Duncan Lewis is the trading name of Duncan Lewis (Solicitors) Limited. Registered Office is Spencer House, 29 Grove Hill Road, Harrow, HA1 3BN. Company Reg. No. 3718422. VAT Reg. No. 718729013. A list of the company's Directors is displayed at the registered offices address. Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority . Offices all across London and in major cities in the UK. ©Duncan Lewis >>Legal Disclaimer, Copyright & Privacy Policy. Duncan Lewis do not accept service by email.