Bach Commission report published
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Marc Bloomfield
Lord Bach
Lord Bach’s Commission on Access to Justice published its final report in September (see the October 2017 Legal Action editorial). It calls for a number of urgent reforms to the legal aid scheme, including:
restoring legal help to include some family, employment, welfare benefits and other cases that were removed from scope under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (an Act that Lord Bach described to Legal Action as ‘a disaster for people seeking justice’);
replacing the Legal Aid Agency;
a review of the client and cost management system;
all cases involving children to be brought back into scope;
changes to the civil legal aid means test to allow more people to qualify;
automatic passporting for people on means-tested benefits;
scrapping separate capital assessments and exempting owner-occupiers entirely;
relaxing the qualifying rules for legal aid to ensure more victims of domestic violence receive legal assistance; and
better public legal education in schools.

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LAG
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