Chancery Lane backs challenge to restore legal aid for victims of domestic violence

head in handsA legal challenge over the lawfulness of the LASPO cuts preventing domestic abuse victims from accessing legal aid even in life-threatening situations is being backed by the Law Society.

The challenge is being brought by the Public Law Project on behalf of Rights of Women. According to the Public Law Project, under the regulations which set out what evidence victims of domestic violence have to provide, such information can be extremely difficult for many people to get ‘and in many cases is subject to a 24 month time limit – although perpetrators may remain a life long threat to their victims’. More information HERE.

Access to justice is vital in these cases , says the PLP. ‘The statistics are stark; two women are killed each week by a current or former partner and 500 recent victims of domestic violence commit suicide every year.’ Law Society president Nicholas Fluck said that it was ‘vital that survivors of domestic abuse can bring evidence to satisfy the broader statutory meaning of domestic violence, not the over-strict tests required by the regulations as they now stand’. ‘Survivors should not be excluded from accessing legal aid for family law disputes against an abusive ex partner or relative,’ he added.

‘In our most recent survey, half of all women who were ineligible for legal aid because they did not have the required evidence of domestic violence said that they took no legal action as a result, leaving them at risk of further violence and even death. This legal action is taken on behalf of those women in order to hold the government to account on their promise to continue to make family law legal aid available to victims of domestic violence.’
Emma Scott, director of Rights of Women

About Jon Robins

Jon is a journalist and has written about the law and justice for the national papers and specialist press for more than 15 years. Jon is a visiting journalism lecturer at Winchester University, a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln and patron of Hackney Community Law Centre. He has won the Bar Council’s legal reporter of the year award twice (2015 and 2005). Jon is editor and co-founder of LegalVoice

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