Courts may pay for legal representation if the Legal Aid Agency refuses to provide it

Sir James Munby, the president of the Family Division of the High Court, has ruled that the court service should pay for people’s lawyers if the Legal Aid Agency refuses to provide them, in order to ensure justice is done.

The ruling covers three separate unidentified family cases, titled Q v Q, Re B (A Child) and Re C (A Child), in which none of the fathers wishing to play a part in the life of their child had lawyers to argue their cases, while the mothers received public funding to pay for legal representation.

Previously, in the case of Q v Q, Sir James had asked Chris Grayling, the justice secretary, to explain how the case could proceed without legal aid. Sir James said the problems with the cases somewhat pre-date the government’s legal cuts. However, he added that ‘most practitioners and judges with any practical experience of the family justice system would recognise [them] as having been very considerably exacerbated’ by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012…

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