The General Election's Big Issues: Access to Justice

Daniel Priestley - Writer and Editor

In this series of short articles, writers for InTuition will be looking at the biggest issues political parties need to deal with in the upcoming general election. In today's article, Daniel Priestley looks at Access to Justice:

One of the biggest issues a new government would need to address is the huge problem of access to justice in our society. As touched upon in previous articles, since 2013 our court system has been crumbling due to colossal budget cuts to legal aid provision and funding for services assisting those without access to their own legal support.  This has lead to a huge increase in the number of litigants in person, having to take on the difficult court system alone.

This has had a widespread impact. It has likely impacted the homelessness crisis because people no longer have the support they need to suspend orders for eviction - which gives them time to either catch up on arrears payments or find a new form of affordable living. Victims of domestic abuse are being forced to represent themselves against their abuser in custody battles, due to high evidential thresholds designed to limit public spending. Charities designed to help people without legal aid have an increased workload every year whilst lacking the increasing budgets to meet demand.

Access to justice is one of the most important issues to allow our society to function. Equal ability to enforce and use the law is fundamental to our democracy and the truth is currently, it is dying out in the United Kingdom. The legal system in the UK needs investment to allow for its most central principle be maintained - justice.

Read our previous article in our series, about how politicians need to deal with the climate crisis here.

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