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Djanogly plans court ‘alternatives’

Djanogly plans court ‘alternatives’

Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly has said he wants to reform legal aid and the criminal justice system to “encourage people to seek alternatives to court”.

Mr Djanogly told the Westminster Legal Policy Forum that court should only be used as a last resort for solving personal issues.

He said: “I find that too often, in modern society, people are too willing to hand over to the state the resolution of their personal problems.

“We need to target our help at those most in need, and for those cases that require it.”

He said that the legal aid scheme had expanded so much since it was introduced 60 years ago that by 1999 it was available for “virtually every type of potential issue, including those which should not require any legal expertise to resolve”.

He added that this had encouraged people to bring their problems before the courts even where the courts were not well placed to provide the best solutions.

Mr Djanogly said legal advice should only apply “when there is a matter of genuine legal concern or personal liberty of security at stake”.

“And court should be a last resort and only used when matters can’t be solved in any other way.”

He added: “We have been considering very carefully whether there is more that we can do to encourage people to seek alternatives to court.”

He suggested that these alternatives could include administrative solutions, alternative dispute resolution and mediation.

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