Where's legal aid justice?

The observations of Lord Woolf referred to in your 13 August edition "Curtain for combative divorcees" of the instant under the above title give cause for some concern.

The judiciary is often criticised for being out of touch with the man in the street. It may be that to Lord Woolf, a hob, a washing line and some curtains are minor matters. I suspect I am alone in having clients on benefit for whom the cost of replacing the above items out of their limited income would create an almost impossible strain.

It is, I respectfully suggest, unfortunate that Lord Woolf did not take the opportunity of providing a speedy inexpensive system whereby, when appropriate, the division of the contents of the matrimonial home can be resolved and each party receive his or her share.

I have been compelled recently to advise a wife with two small children who was forcibly evicted by her husband that there was nothing I could do to recover her share of the contents of a modest rented flat because legal aid would be refused. My opinion has been reinforced by the observations of the Master of the Rolls. My client said something to the effect: "There is no justice in this." I am minded to agree.

Gerald Funnell

Funnell & Perring solicitors.