The elections campaigns are now in full swing. Labour announced their manifesto yesterday and this week the Liberal Democrats have announced they’ll increase the legal aid budget by a third. The current budget stands at £1.6m, but they plan to pump £500m into the legal aid system, pledging to ‘establish a new right to affordable, reasonable legal assistance, and invest £500 million to restore legal aid, making the system simpler and more generous’.
This pledge would be a substantial investment into an already strained justice system. The manifesto further promises to invest funds into other areas of the justice system: £1bn into community policing; cracking down on short prison sentences; introducing a written constitution; creating an online crime agency designed to tackle online illegal content and activity, including personal fraud and revenge porn.
The Liberal Democrats also focus on other legal topics, promising to stop the use of facial recognition surveillance and to introduce a right to no-fault divorce.
Discussing the diversity of the justice system, the party have ensured the judiciary, the prison service and the police will adopt ‘ambitious targets for diversity’ and provide regular parliamentary reports.
The facts above have been taken from an article originally written by Jemma Slingo for the Law Gazette. This article can be found at: