The government has introduced two amendments to the legal aid bill, which returns to the House of Lords next week.
The first amends the definition of domestic violence in the bill (but does not change the requirement to prove it as a pre-requisite to obtaining legal aid in private law family cases, as called for by a wide alliance of the legal aid sector.
The second brings clinical negligence back within the scope of legal aid, but only where negligence in child birth or shortly thereafter caused a neurological injury causing severe disability. This is a very small number of cases brought back within scope and, as the UK Human Rights Blog points out, is essentially arbitrary.
It remains to be seen whether this is the start of a series of concessions to get the bill through, or if the government believes it has now done enough to ensure Parliamentary support. There is still time to take part in the campaign in the Lords, and now is the time to begin lobbying MPs, as any amendments won in the Lords will also need to pass the Commons.
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