The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012 has been highly controversial since its new schemes and amendments have come to light. The governmental justifications for the legal aid reductions explain the need for reforms in the UK. An overview of the post-funding changes and criteria of entitlements to legal aid highlights the issues of the right of access to court, gender inequality and the challenges facing the legal profession, from a justice perspective. Currently, the courts have found that the cuts were not always lawful. Certain landmark cases illustrated the incompatibility of the cuts with the European Convention on Human Rights and the Equality Act 2010 in respect of the principles of equality of arms and discrimination. These violations place the most vulnerable people at a disadvantage and at a risk of further poverty; yet a vast majority has been left in the invisible light spectrum, widening social divergence and conflicting with the government’s objectives of targeting legal aid to those in desperate need.
Corresponding author. Gina Heung
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