Solicitors have warned people could start "taking the law into their own hands," as changes to legal aid remove swathes of areas of law from its scope.
The reforms come into effect today, as the government moves to reduce its £2.2 billion legal aid bill by £350 million. Areas impacted include:
- Private family law, such as divorce and custody battles
- Personal injury cases
- Some employment and education law
- Immigration cases where the person is not detained
- Some debt, housing and benefit issues
Some law firms estimate the reforms will reduce the number of people who qualify for legal aid by 75 percent, meaning around 200,000 fewer cases, while barristers have warned the cuts are the biggest to civil legal aid since the system was introduced in 1949.