This paper seeks to give an overview of the Legal Aid reform leading to the enactment of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (“LASPO”). It provides a context for the reforms heralded by consultation in 2010, and discusses the interplay with the simultaneous Family Justice Review. The paper goes on to look at the structural and constitutional changes brought about by the LASPO Act 2012, the impact on the Courts, and the removal of many cases from the ‘scope’ of public funding leading to the increase in the numbers of Litigants in Person. The paper discusses the ‘exceptional’ cases, the cases in which children are joined as parties, and mediation. The article looks briefly at the impact on the legal profession brought about by the legal aid reforms together with the reduction in fees under the Family Advocacy Scheme (also introduced in 2011).

Legal Aid Reform: Its impact on family law

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