Amid broad cuts, survey shows clear support for giving funding in some cases—but not others
Sixty-eight percent think funding should be available to low income people for child custody cases, while barely a quarter (27%) support the provision of legal aid for divorces. Recent changes to the legal aid system will remove funding for many areas of civil law, including almost all of private family law—which includes divorces and child custody cases.
The survey also found that the British public backed government assistance for clinical negligence claims (64%), employment tribunals (63%) and cases where people are getting evicted (54%).
However, only 18% of the Britons think people should be able to claim legal aid in immigration appeals, and a minority (27%) think government funds should go to personal injury claims.
Legal aid is a government program that aims to help people with low incomes get legal advice or representation.
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act of 2013 removes completely funding for personal injury cases and for private family law, except in cases where domestic abuse, forced marriage or child abduction is involved. The act, which comes into force this April, also halts funding for immigration cases in which the person has not been detained. Some, but not all cases involving clinical negligence, employment and housing issues will also be excluded from the scheme under the new rules.