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Controversial legal aid bill set to become law


The government’s bill to cut legal aid in England is set to become law, and now awaits Royal Assent.

As a result of the reforms, all divorce, finance, and private law children cases, subject to exceptions, will be removed from the scope of legal aid funding, as will many domestic violence cases, and most medical negligence cases.

During its parliamentary passage, peers had inflicted 14 defeats on the government’s proposed amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) bill.

The final vote, to amend those parts of the bill that apply to victims of domestic violence, ended in a draw. Members voted 238 for and 238 against the change, which by convention meant a victory for the government.

This means that many people who currently get free legal help to protect them from domestic violence, or to apply to see their children, will not be able to do so without paying. The same applies to those who have suffered from medical negligence and wish to seek redress.

Further information

If you need advice on any aspect of family law or on how these changes may affect you, contact Chris Miller in our Bedminster office on 0117 963 5237, or Alison Whiles in our Gloucester Road office on 0117 923 2141. We offer a system of fixed fees for most family law services, meaning you’ll know exactly what you’ll have to pay for our work at the start.

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