The country's top judge has warned that cuts to legal aid are undermining the rule of law, and people's belief in government and "the whole democratic system." Lord Neuberger also said Theresa May's recent attack was "unfortunate."
President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger has warned that cuts to legal aid may have gone too far.
Speaking to the BBC he said the two most important things a government can do is protect the country from invasion, and ensure the rule of law at home.
Unless you do those two things, you might as well not bother with welfare, education, health and housing because it is not a country worth living in. Access to justice and an efficient justice system are an essential ingredient of the rule of law.
Rich people can always afford legal advice and representation but unless you have access to legal advice for poorer people, you have not got the rule of law. We are at risk of denying access to justice, and that damages the rule of law.
Lord Neuberger’s comments come as cuts to the £2 billion legal aid come into affect next month.
The government hopes to save £400 million by removing legal aid from most civil cases, such as debt, welfare, family disputes and some housing.
But Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court, said he would not get into a "slanging" match with Mrs May, though he did say he thought "attacking judges" was not a sensible way for politicians to proceed. Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Law in Action programme he said:
"It is unfortunate that the Home Secretary has acted and spoken as she has done."