Austerity destroying families

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DSilva
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#1
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#1
https://www.theguardian.com/law/2018...t-for-children

Cuts to legal aid have forced parents to give up the fight for their children, due to not being able to afford access to justice. The number of people eligible for legal aid, access to basic justice, has fallen 80% since 2010. Ordinary people, who aren't legally qualified, are having to represent themselves in legal proceedings.

The idea that you can hugely cut spending on public services, and inflict 40% cuts on departments without disastrous consequences, is a fantasy.
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999tigger
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#2
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(Original post by DSilva)
https://www.theguardian.com/law/2018...t-for-children

Cuts to legal aid have forced parents to give up the fight for their children, due to not being able to afford access to justice. The number of people eligible for legal aid, access to basic justice, has fallen 80% since 2010. Ordinary people, who aren't legally qualified, are having to represent themselves in legal proceedings.

The idea that you can hugely cut spending on public services, and inflict 40% cuts on departments without disastrous consequences, is a fantasy.
Nobody cares about legal aid until you find yourself in the position of needing it.
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DSilva
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#3
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#3
(Original post by 999tigger)
Nobody cares about legal aid until you find yourself in the position of needing it.
Exactly. There's little political capital in supporting an increase in legal aid.

Access to justice should be an absolute cornerstone of a democracy, sadly it's not.

If you lose your kids and can't afford a lawyer then you have to go it yourself.
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Apachecow
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#4
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It can be really difficult taking these figures out of context. I was speaking to a family friend recently who works in this area and she says that these days the courts are much more likely to award joint custody and involve the father than they used to 10 years ago. I think the days of the mum almost always got the kids are long gone. This is one reason such legal aid spending shouldn't be needed.

I also firmly believe that legal aid should be for UK citizens so not spent on immigration issues.
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DSilva
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#5
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(Original post by Apachecow)
It can be really difficult taking these figures out of context. I was speaking to a family friend recently who works in this area and she says that these days the courts are much more likely to award joint custody and involve the father than they used to 10 years ago. I think the days of the mum almost always got the kids are long gone. This is one reason such legal aid spending shouldn't be needed.

I also firmly believe that legal aid should be for UK citizens so not spent on immigration issues.
Access to justice should be a fundamental right guaranteed in a democracy. People are having their kids taken away from them, or not being allowed to see their kids and due to legal aid cuts they are not able to afford legal representation. So they give up. Imagine being a father, or mother, who was denied access to your kids and you have to represent yourself in court due to legal aid cuts.

Since 2010 there has been an 80% reduction in the amount of people eligible for legal aid. You cannot make sweeping cuts to public services and then be surprised at the consequences.
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Apachecow
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#6
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(Original post by DSilva)
Access to justice should be a fundamental right guaranteed in a democracy. People are having their kids taken away from them, or not being allowed to see their kids and due to legal aid cuts they are not able to afford legal representation.
But how far do you take representation? Should we throw thousands of pounds of taxpayers money 'defending' an abusive ex father/husbands desire to see his children? Should we spend money allowing people who the courts have decided are here illegally to challenge that very court ruling?

In crinimal cases I agree that respresentation should be automatic, very much less sure in some of these cases.
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DSilva
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#7
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(Original post by Apachecow)
But how far do you take representation? Should we throw thousands of pounds of taxpayers money 'defending' an abusive ex father/husbands desire to see his children? Should we spend money allowing people who the courts have decided are here illegally to challenge that very court ruling?

In crinimal cases I agree that respresentation should be automatic, very much less sure in some of these cases.
Much further than we currently do.

Access to justice and good legal representation benefits society as a whole. It's imperative to ensure that correct legal decisions are made and that people aren't denied access to justice because they can't afford it. There will be many reasons why people don't have access to their kids, sometimes the mother may have taken them elsewhere, other times she may simply not allow the father access. Sometimes a kid may incorrectly be taken into care. And when that does happen, or when an incorrect decision is made, people need to have access to challenge it and put their case across.

Mistakes happen, innocent people are accused of and punished for things they did not do. All people should have the ability and the right to challenge such life changing decisions with legal representation, not told they have to represent themselves.

I'm not talking about illegal immigrants - that's a completely different issue with no relevance to the issue being discussed.
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Apachecow
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#8
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I'm sensing this is personal to you so will step out of the discusssion. I don't think we will ever agree.
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DSilva
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#9
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(Original post by Apachecow)
I'm sensing this is personal to you so will step out of the discusssion. I don't think we will ever agree.
It's not 'personal'. It's about how we want society to be run and whether we should value access to justice as a fundamental right, or something that doesn't really matter.
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Apachecow
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#10
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I agree justice is a fundimental right, but I disagree that it should be universal and we should throw taxpayers money at any legal whim or folly that someone has. There needs to be a way of assessing whether spending that money is likely to be in the taxpayers best interest.

Should we really need to involve lawyers in a case where a father wants to see their children and the mother is preventing that?
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DSilva
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#11
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(Original post by Apachecow)
I agree justice is a fundimental right, but I disagree that it should be universal and we should throw taxpayers money at any legal whim or folly that someone has. There needs to be a way of assessing whether spending that money is likely to be in the taxpayers best interest.

Should we really need to involve lawyers in a case where a father wants to see their children and the mother is preventing that?
If access to justice isn't universal then we don't have justice. Ensuring that people have access to justice for life changing decisions is far more important than the issue of taxpayers money. And certainly when it means people are having to give up the fight for their kids.

There are all sorts of reasons why people may be denied access to their kids and it is not as you suggest, simply a case of abusive husbands and fathers. Sometimes one parent wishes to move abroad with their kids, or hundreds of miles away, sometimes one parent runs off with the kids, sometimes they may deny the other parent access to their kids. Sometimes parents may have certain difficulties when it comes to reading or writing and were not able to fill in the correct forms. Families can break down for all sorts of reasons.

It's absolutely imperative that people, when denied access to their kids, or are facing fractuous divorce proceedings, have access to legal advice and representation to inform them of their rights and options, and to put their case across. Instead what has happened is legal aid cuts have resulted in ordinary people having to represent themselves.

Hopefully that will never happen to you, it hasn't to me. But if it did you sure would want legal advice and representation. It's not a nice 'optional extra'. It's absolutely fundamental for people to have access to justice when such life-changing circumstances and conflicts arise.

Should we really need to involve lawyers in a case where a father wants to see their children and the mother is preventing that?
If you were being denied access to your children, your only option would be to take it to the court. Of course people should be represented in court proceedings by lawyers.
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paul514
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#12
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#12
(Original post by DSilva)
https://www.theguardian.com/law/2018...t-for-children

Cuts to legal aid have forced parents to give up the fight for their children, due to not being able to afford access to justice. The number of people eligible for legal aid, access to basic justice, has fallen 80% since 2010. Ordinary people, who aren't legally qualified, are having to represent themselves in legal proceedings.

The idea that you can hugely cut spending on public services, and inflict 40% cuts on departments without disastrous consequences, is a fantasy.
Usually I would disagree with you but I agree access to legal representation if you genuinely can’t afford it yourself should be a right.
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DSilva
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#13
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#13
(Original post by paul514)
Usually I would disagree with you but I agree access to legal representation if you genuinely can’t afford it yourself should be a right.
It should, of course.

This issue won't get the national attention it deserves, obviously, but it completely counters the ridiculous notion that you can impose huge spending reductions on public services without there being serious consequences.
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paul514
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#14
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(Original post by DSilva)
It should, of course.

This issue won't get the national attention it deserves, obviously, but it completely counters the ridiculous notion that you can impose huge spending reductions on public services without there being serious consequences.
It has been reported quite a bit in the coalition government but people don’t care too much
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DSilva
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#15
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#15
(Original post by paul514)
It has been reported quite a bit in the coalition government but people don’t care too much
People don't care because they think they'll never need it (legal aid), but everyone thinks that until they do.
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DSilva
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#16
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#16
(Original post by Trinculo)
I'm not interested in your commie nonsense.
Legal aid and access to justice is commie nonsense?

Idiot.
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Trinculo
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(Original post by DSilva)
Legal aid and access to justice is commie nonsense?

Idiot.
All you want is unlimited money from other people, and you don't even know why.

Legal Aid was widely abused and a terrible system. Can't keep on throwing billions a failed systems because you like it.
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DSilva
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#18
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(Original post by Trinculo)
All you want is unlimited money from other people, and you don't even know why.

Legal Aid was widely abused and a terrible system. Can't keep on throwing billions a failed systems because you like it.
ROFL. Yes the current system where parents give up the fight for their kids because they have no access to legal representation is much better...

As a country we pride ourselves on our legal and judicial system, yet unless you are rather wealthy you will have no access to it if you need it.

The system wasn't broken, it provided vulnerable people who'd been the victims of domestic abuse, or had their kids taken away, or been made homeless or unfairly sacked a chance to enforce their legal rights and be provided with legal representation. Now they have to represent themselves in legal proceedings.

Not to mention it guaranteed people a good standard of legal representation if they ever found themselves accused of committing a crime. Now that's been cut too and its driven good defence lawyers away from the profession.

The idea that citizens being able to enforce their legal rights is some sort of commie nonsense, is laughable. As are you.
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DSilva
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#19
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#19
(Original post by Trinculo)
It is commie nonsense. You just want someone else to foot the bill when a person you like has their personal circumstances go wrong.

You start this whole thing by claiming that Austerity “is destroying families” and then go in to say that Legal Aid is not available for divorce. These are cases where the family unit has already failed- Legal Aid isn’t going to remedy the failure of the marriage - quite the opposite.

Legal Aid is still available for DV and other criminal matters. Sure, it’s pretty much gone from the civil sphere - but what do you want? Unlimited free representation for individuals? You mention employment- why should a person get taxpayer funded representation over a dispute when the other litigant does not? Where’s the justice in that?
I suggest you actually learn what 'communism' is, if you think legal aid which supports the rights of the individual, often against the state, is 'communist'.

It's not about me. It's about ensuring there is a system in place which guarentees people the ability to enforce their legal rights and be provided legal advice at the most vulnerable times when they most need it. No one thinks they'll need legal aid, until they actually do. Just as no one thinks that well-funded and resourced defence solicitors are necessary, until they find themselves or a close one falsely accused of something.

Divorce proceedings are an absolutely cruicial time when you most need legal representation and advice, especially when kids are involved. Imagine being denied access to your kids, unlawfully, and not being able to enforce those rights in a court of law. Or imagine social services wrongly taking your kids away and not having the resources to fight it so you give up. Again hopefully you will never be in the position where you have a fractuous divorce and your partner denies you access to your kids, or wishes to move them abroad without your agreement and your only recourse would be through the courts. Access to justice should be a right, not a privilege. In such cases legal aid can be the difference between being able to see your kids again, or not. Or it can be the difference between a victim of domestic violence being given protection against their abuser, or not.

Legal aid for DV has been reduced heavily, as it has been for criminal matters. If you suffer DV you face a much harder time than you used to and there is less money available. Defence lawyers are paid substantially less than they used to be, which is turning good defence lawyers away from the profession in droves and providing them with less resources to defend you. Not only that but now far less people qualify for legal aid in criminal proceedings, meaning they are having to pay out their own pockets or represent themselves. Again, everyone thinks they won't need it, but if you or a close one to you was accused of a crime and their liberty was at risk, you'd sure see the necessity of a well-funded public system.

You mention employment- why should a person get taxpayer funded representation over a dispute when the other litigant does not? Where’s the justice in that?
There is obvious justice in individuals who've been unfairly and unalwfully treated in being able to enforce their legal rights through the courts. Otherwise you don't have access to justice and employers know they can treat employees unlawfully in the knowledge that they can't bring proceedings against them. Anyone who needs and can't afford legal representation should be given it in such cases.

How can we pride ourselves on our judicial system if those who most need it have no access to it?
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username1738683
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#20
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The idea that you can hugely cut spending on public services, and inflict 40% cuts on departments without disastrous consequences, is a fantasy.
Even more of a fantasy is for the Guardian and their readership to pretend money is free and that you just have to tax the rich in order to spend at least twice as much on everything. It is beyond kids' stuff, such unrealism and gratuitous idealism.

The idea that we can live above our means forever and leave the bill to our descendants is very much a leftist trait too, that is the same mentality that reduces the Guardian to begging for donations on their site, buried in debt as they are.

That's champagne-sipping leftism, living in the world of dreams and not understanding the real one. For that very reason, they have no solutions to any problems on this earth. It's all waffle that would create twice as many problems through the inescapable law of unintended consequences, the Guardianista rhetoric. Good with long words but...still lefties.

ps, and the inevitable attempt to emotionally-manipulate their audiences is nauseating but shows that at least they know their customers.
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