The Green Party has pledged that it would restore cuts made to the legal aid system if it was elected in May.
In its manifesto, released today, the Party says that it would “move towards” a written constitution with a Bill of Rights, and that equality before the law would be a fundamental constitutional right.
It continues: “But this is only a reality if all can afford to use the law. We would restore the cuts to Legal Aid, costing around £700m a year.”
Legal aid cuts, long battled against by lawyers, have received increased attention from the general public in the run up to the election. Yesterday, an animation starring Joanna Lumley was released, giving details of the cuts that have been made to the legal aid system and Judicial Review, and highlighting the fact that legal aid lawyers earn around £25,000 a year, less than nurses or teachers.
The Guardian also reported the results of a study which suggested that access to justice is of greater concern to the public than free healthcare.
Legal aid cuts: the timeline
24 Feb 11: JLD, YLAL slam proposed cuts to legal aid
23 Jun 11: Legal aid cuts given green light
11 Mar 13: Exeter law students march for legal aid
10 Jan 14: Opinion: No Legal Aid, No Justice
17 Apr 14: Opinion: Students should not have to fill the justice gap