Do we have the most expensive legal aid system in the world?
In recent months there has been much debate about spending on legal aid, with the Ministry of Justice frequently claiming ‘At around £2bn a year we have one of the most expensive legal aid systems in the world.’ They argue that in times of austerity, legal aid cannot be immune to cuts in spending.
But is this really true? It is important to note that we have an ‘adversarial’ legal system that differs from many other countries in the world. Money that is spent on legal aid in the UK is simply spent in other areas in different legal systems, such as the courts. In these ‘inquisitorial’ systems the court investigates, rather than merely judging the case. Calculations that show how much money is spent on courts, legal aid and prosecution divided by the population put the UK spend at 13 out of 41 countries in a study by the European Commission.
Additionally what the UK the figures actually show is that spending on legal aid spending rose by only 3% between 2003 and 2010, and has remained at a near constant level for the past 5 years.
Emery Johnson Astills offer a range of legal aid services, details of which can be found here. If in doubt about your entitlement to legal aid we are happy to discuss this with you. If you do not quality we have a wide range of finance products available ranging from fixed fee to divorce loan funding, details of which can be found here.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office on 0116 255 4855 if we can be of any assistance.