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Monday January 7, 2018

One of the newspaper headlines over the past two weeks is one that might have slipped under everybody’s radar, given that the time of year is what it is.

The headline that Government Ministers are looking at closing the legal aid loophole that has allowed a killer to receive legal aid while on the run might seem an obvious thing to do but it raises a concern.

Legal aid is supposed to ensure that everybody, regardless if who they are, their background or how much money they have, has access to proper legal help should they need it. However, under the last Labour government, cuts to the legal aid budget were made (something that everybody conveniently forgets or fails to mention) and the result is that for many ordinary people, justice is not available. To their discredit, the Tories have done nothing to redress this since 2010.

The concern now is that the government will use the furore over the so-called speedboat killer not only to close the loophole talked about, but also to make further cuts to legal aid, cuts that will inevitably put justice even further out of reach for most people. Except of course, those who do have the money to pay for it.

It may well be a new year, but we must continue to keep a very watchful eye on what the government does and in our name.

© KJM Today

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