Legal Aid

In 2016, Jeremy Corbyn asked Lord Willy Bach to undertake a review of the legal aid system. Lord Bach set up the Bach Commission on Access to Justice, with the aim of setting out how the state can guarantee access to advice or representation for those who need it to enforce their rights. The Commission’s premise is that access to justice is a public service alongside education and healthcare.
The Commission published its interim report in November 2016, entitled ‘The crisis in the justice system in England & Wales’. The report’s findings note that the number of legal advice centres has more than halved between 2005 and 2015, and cuts to the government’s legal aid bill have been “at great cost to citizens’ access to justice”.
In this campaign we seek to demonstrate why the Bach Commission’s review is so important by explaining through examples the value of legal aid in ensuring that human rights protection is a reality for all individuals. In doing so, we make two key points: legal aid is necessary for a fair society and the operation of an effective justice system, and the provision of timely legal advice can generate huge costs savings for the state in the long-term.

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