Scope responds to the Legal Aid Bill
25 April 2012
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill will now become law without the crucial amendment that we have been campaigning for.
Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of disability charity Scope, responded:
“This is a disappointing blow for many disabled people who may find themselves without access to justice as a result of the Government’s decision.
“The Government's recognition that legal aid advice is necessary for some welfare benefits cases and the creation of an Advice Fund are steps in the right direction but do not go far enough.
“Disabled people who fall foul of poor decision-making, red tape or administrative error in the benefits system may no longer be entitled to expert legal advice to challenge these decisions as a result.
“We urge the Government to clarify exactly how its proposals will work in practice, specifically the way welfare benefit claimants will be able to determine if their case involves a ‘point of law’ or a ‘point of fact’ and therefore understand if they are eligible for expert legal support.”
Notes to the Editor:
For more information please contact the Scope press office on 020 7619 7200.