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New chair of Resolution condemns legal aid cuts

The newly appointed Chair of family law organisation Resolution, has described government cuts to legal aid as “devastating”.

Speaking at the organisation’s annual conference in Manchester, Jo Edwards cited the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO), which removed funding from most family law cases.”

She said:

“This week marks one year since the changes to family legal aid. LASPO has had a devastating impact on our members and, more importantly, on the people they had previously been able to help. We know that the promised “safety valve” of the availability of exceptional funding is not providing very much relief at all; at the last count there were only 8 successful applications in family cases, out of 617 made in the past year.”

She added:

“The plain fact is, when you hear some of the nonsensical stories about victims of domestic abuse who are not able to get legal aid because they can’t produce the right piece of paper – whatever way you look at it, it is just wrong.”

The Chair continued:

“The government are also cutting off their nose to spite their face. They said they want more people to choose mediation. Yet publicly-funded mediation numbers are down. We warned before the cuts were introduced that if you remove solicitors and Citizens Advice Bureau from the equation, you remove the key source of referrals into mediation.

We also emphasised the importance of legal advice during the mediation process. Sadly, they didn’t listen at the time.”

Legal practitioners need to adapt to the situation and work together, not against each other, she declared.

“Because the reality is that whilst we can make appropriate noises where there is particular injustice, more broadly, we have to accept the harsh reality that the cuts are here to stay.”

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Stitchedup says:

    “About Resolution

    Resolution’s 6,500 members are family lawyers and other professionals committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes. Our members follow a Code of Practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems. Our members encourage solutions that consider the needs of the whole family – and in particular the best interests of children.”

    So the chair of an organisation that supposedly “promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems” wades right in there harping on about domestic abuse and moans about the government wanting more people to choose the less confrontational, less expensive and non-punitive approach of mediation. I have experience of so called “Resolution” lawyers, my solicitor and the solicitor for my ex were “Resolution” lawyers and I can safely say the would start a fight in a cemetery!! Bad as each other.

  2. Mother with learning disability goes without legal aid in adoption fight - Marilyn Stowe Blog says:

    […] “I find it a matter of real regret for a young woman with obvious limitations to find herself without representation, in circumstances in which other applications for permission to oppose are made before me from time to time with the assistance of representation through legal aid.” […]

  3. Senior family law judge asks Justice Secretary for legal aid answers - Marilyn Stowe Blog says:

    […] chair of family law organisation Resolute, who has previously condemned the cuts, supported the President’s call for government […]

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