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Consultations, Funding and legal aid

Access to Justice – The Bach Commission’s call for evidence

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By Lucy Scott-Moncrieff

Lucy Scott-Moncrieff CBE is Managing Director of Scott-Moncrieff and Associates Ltd and is a former President of the Law Society of England and Wales. She is also Chair of UKAJI and a member of the Bach Commission on Access to Justice, and she writes here about why it is important to respond to the Commission’s call for evidence.

The Bach Commission on Access to Justice, of which I am a member, has sent out a call for evidence, with responses to be submitted by 29 April.

As you will see, the Commission’s remit is to seek ‘to determine how the State can guarantee, in the context of an ever greater strain on public finances, that all those who need it have access to advice, representation and the courts. This will be considered alongside the question of how the provision of advice and the justice system can become more efficient and be made to work for the 21st century.’

So this is not just about legal aid, or court services, or the most vulnerable. It is about all of us, and how we find our way through a society saturated with laws, some of which constrain us, some of which empower us and all of which are beholden to the rule of law and its principle of equality before the law.

If you work in law, you are bound to have thoughts about what doesn’t work and  how they  could work better. Maybe you are frustrated at the inefficiencies in the system but have been unable to make changes; maybe you are involved in schemes that, one way or another, are helping people obtain access to justice, through access to information or support as well as legal advice and assistance; or maybe you remember something that used to work really well until it was abolished.

Whatever you have to say, we want to hear it, so please respond to any or all of the questions.

NOTE: To submit evidence for consideration by the Commission, please send responses to tobias.phibbs@fabians.org.uk by 29 April 2016.

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