Our latest news
Merseyside Police release advice for victims of domestic abuse concerned about staying at home
The domestic violence lockdown is worrying Merseyside Police who are now encouraging everyone to become familiar with options within the 999 system. If people are not free to speak but are able to make a noise or press 55, it alerts the BT operator to the fact that you need help and they can then connect to the police. For example, if you can only make a noise such as tapping the handset, coughing, crying or even talking to the offender, then these actions will alert the attention of the BT operator. Mark Groves, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Domestic Violence, comments on the initiative: During these extremely difficult times, we need victims of domestic abuse to be aware of every initiative that is available to help them. Many victims cannot speak on the phone or even use an app for fear of reprisals from their abuser, but if they can make a covert call to alert the police they are in danger this could save lives. Katha Lunt, experienced domestic abuse lawyer from our Liverpool branch, comments: The message from Merseyside Police is clear. Protection from domestic violence remains a priority during these difficult times. Domestic Violence helplines are reporting a significant increase in telephone calls and visitors to their websites. With the country on lockdown, there is a real risk those suffering domestic violence will feel they have no access to protective measures, at a time when they are being required to spend more and more time with the perpetrator of their abuse. We must ensure the message is received by those who require protection from domestic abuse; help is still available. Since the government’s restriction on all but essential travel, steps have been taken within the Justice System to ensure people continue to have access to urgent protective orders including Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders. Here at National Legal Service Solicitors Liverpool, whilst working from home over… [...]
On 30 July 1949, the Legal Aid and Advice Act received royal assent. The act ensured that people on low incomes were represented in the civil and criminal justice system. Originally, its reach was almost universal with 80% of British people eligible. But as the years went by legal aid went away, with eligibility dropping steadily, down to 29% pre-recession in 2008.
It is clearer now more than ever that #LegalAidMatters
We wouldn’t be able to support our clients without legal aid. Our Family Law team have helped more than 2,500 survivors of domestic abuse courtesy of legal aid. Across the country our solicitors are able to help our clients as well as advise on the review of safeguarding measures for their children. Additionally, our Criminal Defence team recently secured an acquittal for a young man accused of offences two years prior, who in the time between the accusation and charge had turned his life around and began working towards a better future. We have also been successful in numerous appeals against extradition on both technical grounds and human rights grounds. None of this would be possible without the benefit of legal aid.
There is no doubt that the justice system is under considerable pressure and also everyone working in it. Local Authorities are issuing more public law cases than ever before. Legal Aid solicitors are also managing heavier caseloads and working longer hours. Instructing barristers is increasingly difficult because they’re already in court balancing numerous cases.
Although the legal aid cuts are still an ongoing process, many young lawyers and paralegals have taken up the cause against them. Our strong team of 100 staff across the UK have a clear and unwavering commitment to Legal Aid. They do so out of passion for the cause, and for the people who need our help.
Head of Family, Ms Kirsty Richard comments
Legal Aid is vital to ensure access to justice and the LASPO restrictions for family cases has seen a very real and very tragic surge in public children law matters (care proceedings) and increased frustrations between parents trying to resolve “contact” disputes which often leads to desperate action, such as refusing to return children following agreed visits. Aside from that are the reduced rates that practitioners are paid for doing this type of work, which means now more than ever, as a legal aid lawyer you are working around the clock. Legal Aid is vital and should be preserved – hooray to 70 years of legal aid!”
Thank you & happy birthday Legal Aid! Here’s to the next 70 years.