A senior family judge is latest to speak out on legal aid

Mr Justice Body shared his shame at hearing cases where parties are forced to represent themselves in court.

Speaking at his retirement ceremony, Bodey who has sat in the Family Division of the High Court for almost 20 years, said he had seen a growing rise in the number of litigants in person, unequipped to represent themselves.

‘I find it shaming that in this country, with its fine record of justice and fairness, that I should be presiding over such cases,’ he said.

He becomes the latest in a line of senior judges to speak out against the impact of the legal cuts, as the profession continues to wait for the government’s review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, which removed huge areas of law from public funding.

Ministry of Justice figures released last month, showed the impact that the cuts had had in family law, with neither party represented by lawyers in more than a third of cases.

At her first press conference since taking office, Lady Hale, president of the Supreme Court, said the LASPO cuts had been a ‘false economy’ and gave her backing to the reintroduction of legal aid for early advice.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: ‘We will announce details of the planned review of legal aid reforms in due course.’

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