My thanks to John Hirst of Jailhouselawyer's Blog for drawing my attention to a letter that appeared in The Times today from Piers Pressdee, QC and Alan Bean, Co-Chairs of the Association of Lawyers for Children. Entitled No family justice, the letter warns of the effect of almost halving the number of family legal aid law firms from this October as a result of the legal aid contract tendering process. The writers describe that process as having "too much to do with box-ticking and procurement dogma and too little to do with child welfare, service quality and client need", and say that: "Unless the Government steps in, from October the family justice system, already creaking from years of under-investment, will officially be in complete meltdown." Strong words indeed, but will they fall on deaf ears?
[Sorry, no link to the letter as The Times is, of course, now behind a paywall.]
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UPDATE: The full text of the letter may now be read here.