In response to the need for a client-based perspective, Toynbee Hall and Middlesex University conducted primary research to examine the impact of legal aid cuts on people’s lived experiences. Based on data from in-depth interviews, survey and two sets of service evaluation data, this research suggests that seeking justice without legal aid is a precursor to sleepless nights – feeling stressed, powerless and unable to get on with life. Our study shows legal aid cuts have direct and indirect costs to individuals, their families and society as a whole. Some participants who received legal aid support in the past were shocked to find that they are not eligible anymore. Many feel a power imbalance especially when the other side is represented and they are not. It raises the question of whether access to justice is now dependent on people’s wealth, ability and knowledge.

Sleepless Nights: Accessing Justice Without Legal Aid

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