6 major charities including Amnesty International, Oxfam and War on Want wrote an open letter challenging the government’s proposals to cut legal aid and change the funding of ‘no win no fee’ agreements. They are ‘baffled’ as to why the government is making changes which make no demands on the public purse and which will significantly reduce access to justice. The fear – rightly – that the changes will severely reduce the ability of law firms to take on certain cases.
They cite certain cases including the illegal dumping of toxic waste in Ivory Coast and say, ‘It is vitally important that the victims of such abuses are able to access justice and obtain redress’.
It is refreshing to read this. So far the fight against these changes has been fought largely by lawyers who act for the victims of injustice. The media too often regards victims seeking access to justice as somehow wrong, rather than the mark of a fair and decent society trying to rights wrongs. The reality is that the rights of individuals to obtain justice are under threat and we are sleepwalking into an era when justice will be a luxury for the rich only.
To read the letter see http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2011/sep/11/legal-changes-hamper-abuse-casesPaul Sankey is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049, fill in our short online claim form or email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch.