Press Release

MP backs Legal Aid Campaign

2nd November 2011

Aberavon MP Dr Hywel Francis has said that many of his constituents and many local organisations have urged that the Government should not cut legal aid through its new proposed legislation.

Dr Francis said,

‘The Bill currently going through Parliament, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, has serious financial consequences particularly for the poorer and vulnerable in society. It also has significant human rights implications.

As chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, I am concerned that legal aid is an important aspect of the fundamental right of access to justice and this is recognised by both common law and the European Convention on Human Rights.

As chair of the Joint Committee I have written to the Justice Secretary on a range of issues including the independence of the Director of Legal Aid and Case Work, advice and assistance in police stations and information sharing.

I endorse many of the concerns expressed by such important campaigning bodies such as Justice and Liberty and I hope that the Bill is either defeated or amended in major ways to ensure that we secure justice for all, so that financial barriers are reduced to a minimum.’



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