Originally introduced as a form of social welfare with near-universal eligibility, legal aid in the UK is now framed as a benefit external to the legal system and understood in primarily economic terms. This book is the first to evaluate the recent reforms of UK legal aid from a social policy perspective and assess their impact on family law courts and advocacy.
Written by experts in the field, it focuses on the rise in people representing their own legal case and argues that the reforms effectively ‘delawyerise’ disputes, producing a more inquisitorial justice system and impacting the litigants, court system, staff and process.
Arguing for a more holistic concept of the reforms, the book will be of relevance to students, academics, policy-makers, judges, campaigners and social workers, not just in England and Wales, but in other jurisdictions instituting cuts to their legal aid budgets, such as Australia, Scotland, France, and the Netherlands.
Sarah Moore joined the University of Bath in 2015, having previously held posts at Royal Holloway University of London and Queen’s University, Belfast. Her research ranges across the sociology of crime/criminal justice and the sociology of health, linked by an interest in the cultural construction of danger and the social mechanisms of blame. She is the author of two previous books. Ribbon Culture: Charity, Compassion, and Public Awareness (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008/2010), awarded the British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Memorial Prize and Crime and the Media (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
Alex Newbury is Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Brighton. Her research focuses on the impact of the law on marginalised or vulnerable groups and is informed by her previous work as a family law solicitor. She previously focused on young people, crime and risk, and has written widely about these topics. In 2015 she sat as a guest member of the Mayor’s Office Policing and Crime Committee in relation to tackling youth offending in the capital.
Legal Aid in Crisis;
Legal Aid Reform in Historical and International Perspective;
Assessing the Consequences of Legal Aid Reform in England and Wales;
Towards a Holistic Conception of Legal Aid;
Refocussing the Debate about Legal Aid.
"A valuable and timely contribution to the discussion of the impact of reforms to legal aid in England and Wales." Jennifer Sigafoos, University of Liverpool
"This social policy perspective on recent legal aid reform provides essential reading for those engaged in access to justice thinking." Pascoe Pleasence, University College London