The recent implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act will have a dramatic impact upon the civil justice system.
The swingeing cuts are taking whole areas of law out of the scope of legal aid with the result that fewer people will have access to free legal representation than at any time since legal aid was introduced, meaning many people may have to represent themselves in court.
These cuts will reduce access to justice and will result in court delays, which may cost more than the Government is seeking to save.
The Bar Council have launched a guide, entitled A Guide to Representing Yourself in Court, which gives advice to people who have to face going to court without a lawyer. The guide gives information about finding free or cost-effective legal advice and provides a step-by-step approach to how people should go about preparing their case and representing themselves in court, as well as an eight-part section on different areas of law which will be heavily affected.
The guide has been written by barristers, including a number of well known QCs, and can be accessed online at www.barcouncil.org.uk/representing-yourself-in-court