Home / Insights / Blog / Church warning over legal aid cuts

Church warning over legal aid cuts

Church warning over legal aid cuts

Legal aid cuts will take away court support for domestic abuse and human trafficking victims, the Catholic Church claims.

Senior Catholic leaders and charities have sent a letter to the justice secretary Chris Grayling to protest against his plans to bring in a dual residency test. They say it will affect some of the most vulnerable people in society.

The letter was sent as hundreds of solicitors and barristers, many of them dressed in wigs and gowns, demonstrated against the Transforming Legal Aid consultation outside the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday.

The Government is looking to reduce legal aid costs by £220m a year and it wants to prevent people with no connection to the UK from claiming it. It would make all those who have not lived legally in Britain for a year ineligible. The plans would make members of the armed forces and asylum seekers exempt from the two-stage residence test, but the letter is calling for the same privilege for human trafficking and domestic abuse victims.

Bishop Patrick Lynch, chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for Migration Policy and Helen O’Brien, chief executive of Caritas Social Action Network, are among those who have signed the letter calling for the change.

We have one of the leading teams of criminal law specialists in West London and the South East. If you are facing a serious criminal charge, you can contact a member of the IBB’s Criminal Defence team, call us on 08456 381381 or email criminaldefence@ibblaw.co.uk.