Tag Archives: election manifestos

Legal aid and access to justice: what the manifestos say

The main political parties have published their manifestos, and some have also made other specific commitments. We have created a new page on the site to collate manifesto pledges and commitments made – you can see the page here, and we welcome comments and links highlighting things we may have missed. We’ve also included links to other materials produced by rep bodies and others to support campaigning. We’ll try to keep it updated during the campaign.

Only the Greens promise a full reversal of the cuts. UKIP doesn’t mention legal aid at all, and the three main parties all promise reviews rather than anything specific of substance, with the exception of some specific commitments Labour has made. In summary, this is what each party says about legal aid:

  • The Conservatives promise to review legal aid so that it can “continue to provide access to justice in an efficient way”;
  • The Green Party is the only party fully to commit to reversing all legal aid cuts;
  • Labour has promised not to implement two tier contracts for criminal legal aid and to revoke the new conditional payment regime for judicial review. It will “widen access” to legal aid for victims of domestic violence, “make sure that access to legal representation” (not “legal aid”) “remains available to those who need it”, and will review the planned second fee cut in crime and the procurement of criminal legal aid generally;
  • The Lib Dems promise to review criminal legal aid and make “no further savings” without an impact assessment; carry out an “immediate review” of civil legal aid “to ensure legal aid is available to all those who need it” and develop “a strategy that will deliver advice and legal support to help people with everyday problems like debt and social welfare”
  • UKIP makes no mention of legal aid or access to justice. (UPDATE – thanks to Legal Action Group, which points out that UKIP does propose putting one trained adviser in each food bank to assist users with legal needs)



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