A litigant in person is someone who is not represented in court by either a solicitor or barrister or other legal advisor. This can be an individual, a company or other organisation that has a legal entity.
In April 2013 fundamental changes were made to legal aid following the implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).
Since those changes, the landscape for the provision of legal aid has changed beyond all belief and recognition and the figures from the first year of civil justice reforms show that access to civil legal aid has fallen by more than half and some categories of law have already become almost entirely inaccessible for state funding.
Following 1 April 2013 Legal Aid funding continues to be readily available for domestic abuse sufferers for divorce and other family proceedings, and for private law proceedings to protect children from child abuse, provided there is evidence of the abuse.
As otherwise reported upon elsewhere on this site, from 1 April 2013 the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) overhauled the framework for legal aid provision in England and Wales.
I am sure that you will have already heard about the proposed cuts to legal aid for prisoners. It has now been announced that the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) will implement the Amended Criminal Legal Aid (General) Regulations before the end of this year. They are aiming to implement the changes by 2nd December 2013.
Whilst protests are still going on, the cuts now appear to be unavoidable.
As many of you will now know the Government have significantly cut the legal aid budget and indeed they continue to do so. I have asked Amy Hossack, a solicitor with the firm to write a piece for you explaining the impact of these cuts on prisoners and to outline the areas that we can assist you with.
John Turner, Prison Law Supervisor
I am delighted to announce that we have recently welcomed Andrew Wraith to the firm. I have known Andy for many years and I am thrilled that he has come across to Kyles. Andy specialises in family law and he has kindly written an article for this edition of Converse looking at the changes that will come about to Legal Aid funding in family case from next month.