30 July 2019 marked 70 years since Royal Assent was given to the Legal Aid and Advice Act 1949.
To commemorate the occasion, the Justice Alliance edited a collection by notable commentators of 70 legal aid cases that developed, changed or contributed to the law. These cases illustrate four critical elements that make legal aid essential to a fair and just society:
•The ability to secure legal rights and freedoms regardless of the ability to pay
•The ability to use the law to hold state authorities to account
•The supervisory effect of legal aid in keeping the decisions and actions of authorities and others within the law
•The role of legal aid in developing areas of law that affect all of us including those who cannot afford to pay
Legal aid must be protected because otherwise social justice is unachievable and the rule of law fails.