On 7 September 2020, the Justice Committee announced an inquiry into the future of the legal aid. The committee, which is chaired by the Conservative MP Sir Bob Neill, is calling for written evidence
to be submitted from interested organisations and individuals by 19 October 2020.
The committee said it was ‘especially keen to hear about the sustainability of the legal aid market, the impact of COVID-19 and the increasing reliance on digital technology to deliver legal advice and court services’ (‘Committee launch future of legal aid inquiry
’, Justice Committee news article, 7 September 2020). It also noted that the system was ‘fundamentally changed’ by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO).
‘We welcome this inquiry as an opportunity to examine how legal aid can be improved to provide better access to justice for the public,’ said Carol Storer, LAG interim director. ‘At the risk of pre-empting any findings though, an unavoidable conclusion is that the system needs more cash to achieve this.’