Access to justice is under threat.
We set up the Bach Commission on Access to Justice to seek answers to the growing crisis, compelled by the belief that access to justice is an essential public entitlement, equal to healthcare or education.
Following cuts to legal aid in 2012, access to legal information, advice and representation has diminished drastically. The recent trends in access to justice are shocking:
- Soaring court and tribunal fees – the legal system is out of reach for the poorest – there was a 67% drop in the number of single cases brought in less than a year
- Public legal support has plummeted – there was a 90% drop in people being helped in the field of social welfare in just 4 years
- The number of law centres has halved in 10 years
We have begun building a comprehensive evidence base and developing policy answers to restore access to justice as a fundamental citizen’s right.
We have heard from witnesses with a wide range of expertise and experience, as well as receiving over 80 pieces of written evidence. These witnesses have included the Law Society, the Bar Council, law centres, trade unions and legal firms, as well as those who have been on the receiving end of the justice system.
Our work so far presents a clear and damning picture of an increasingly ‘two-nation’ justice system. We need your support to expose and correct the imbalance in our justice system.
With your help, over the coming months we will:
- Hold public hearings to seek solutions
- Present our answers, based on a vision of justice as a fundamental public entitlement
- Produce a report that can influence policy at the highest levels.
About the Bach Commission on Access to Justice
Lord Bach serves as Chairman and the Fabian Society provide the secretariat. It has the support of Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, and Charlie Falconer, former Lord Chancellor.
The Commissioners are a group of experts with a wide range of experience in the law. They are freely donating their time and resources towards this much-needed rethink of our justice system.
We have published an interim report, available here, which outlines our initial findings.
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