The Ministry of Justice has withdrawn its appeal against the Court of Appeal’s judgment ( EWCA Civ 244
) on the government cuts to legal aid for prisoners. The court had ruled that the cuts were inherently unfair after hearing evidence about the difficulties experienced by prisoners with disabilities, literacy and language problems.
Two charities concerned with prisoners’ rights, the Prisoners’ Advice Service (PAS) and the Howard League for Penal Reform, brought the case after the then lord chancellor, Chris Grayling, introduced the cuts. The charities say that since the cuts came into force in December 2013, self-harm and violence have risen to record levels.
‘After a long wait and years of battling through the courts we … very much welcome the secretary of state’s decision to finally accept the Court of Appeal’s ruling of inherent unfairness ...,' said Deborah Russo, joint managing solicitor at PAS.