People should have a right to justice they can afford, urges this major new report on access to our justice system.
Source: The Fabian Society
The Fabian Society acted as the secretariat for the Bach Commission which has heard from more than 100 individuals and organisations over the past two years. The commission has found that that cuts to legal aid have created a two-tier justice system where the poorest go without representation or advice.
In its final report, published today, the commission calls on the government and other political parties to ensure minimum standards on access to justice are upheld through a new Right to Justice Act.
The proposed Right to Justice Act will:
- Codify our existing rights to justice and establish a new right for individuals to receive reasonable legal assistance without costs they cannot afford
- Establish a set of principles that guide interpretation of this new right
- Establish a new body called the Justice Commission to monitor and enforce this new right
To make the act a reality, the commission also sets out an immediate action plan for the government to: widen the scope of legal aid, with a focus on early legal help; reform the eligibility requirements for legal aid; replace the Legal Aid Agency with an independent body; and improve the public’s understanding of the law.
To read the appendices to the report and see the written evidence the commission has received, please click here.