Law Soc wins legal aid battle
- 08th October 2010
The Law Society has won its legal action against the Legal Services Commission (LSC) for its recent, controversial legal aid tender round for new family legal aid contracts.
The High Court quashed the result of the tender round declaring it was unlawful and severely hindered access to justice for vulnerable children and their parents.
The Law Society succeeded in its application for judicial review after a three-day hearing that followed the LSC’s actions which, says the Society, would have seen the number of law firms where the public could get subsidised help with family cases drastically cut from 2400 to just 1300. The number of training contracts at legally aid firms would also severely be reduced.
Law Society President, Linda Lee, called the win a victory for the thousands of families who would have been left without access to legal assistance when faced with State intervention in their family or the consequences of the breakdown of a relationship.
She says: “The failure of the LSC to anticipate, let alone manage, the outcome of the process was the latest and perhaps most alarming of the LSC’s apparently haphazard attempts to reshape legal aid. We are extremely disappointed to have been left with no choice but to take legal action against the LSC, which refused to acknowledge the detrimental effect that this outcome would have on families.”