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Access to Justice and Legal Aid

Comparative Perspectives on Unmet Legal Need

Editor(s): Asher Flynn, Jacqueline Hodgson
Media of Access to Justice and Legal Aid
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Published: 26-01-2017
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 336
ISBN: 9781509900848
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £65.00
Online price : £58.50
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Loren Epson

About Access to Justice and Legal Aid

This book considers how access to justice is affected by restrictions to legal aid budgets and increasingly prescriptive service guidelines. As common law jurisdictions, England and Wales and Australia, share similar ideals, policies and practices, but they differ in aspects of their legal and political culture, in the nature of the communities they serve and in their approaches to providing access to justice. These jurisdictions thus provide us with different perspectives on what constitutes justice and how we might seek to overcome the burgeoning crisis in unmet legal need.
The book fills an important gap in existing scholarship as the first to bring together new empirical and theoretical knowledge examining different responses to legal aid crises both in the domestic and comparative contexts, across criminal, civil and family law. It achieves this by examining the broader social, political, legal, health and welfare impacts of legal aid cuts and prescriptive service guidelines. Across both jurisdictions, this work suggests that it is the most vulnerable groups who lose out in the way the law now operates in the twenty-first century. This book is essential reading for academics, students, practitioners and policymakers interested in criminal and civil justice, access to justice, the provision of legal assistance and legal aid.

Table Of Contents

1. Access to Justice and Legal Aid Cuts: A Mismatch of Concepts in the Contemporary Australian and British Legal Landscapes
Asher Flynn and Jacqueline Hodgson
2. Challenges Facing the Australian Legal Aid System
Mary Anne Noone
3. Rhyme and Reason in the Uncertain Development of Legal Aid in Australia
Jeff Giddings
4. The Rise and Decline of Criminal Legal Aid in England and Wales
Tom Smith and Ed Cape
5. A View from the Bench: A Judicial Perspective on Legal Representation, Court Excellence and Therapeutic Jurisprudence
Pauline Spencer
6. Face-to-interface Communication: Accessing Justice by Video Link from Prison
Carolyn McKay
7. The Rise of 'DIY' Law: Implications for Legal Aid
Kathy Laster and Ryan Kornhauser
8. Community Lawyers, Law Reform and Systemic Change: Is the End in Sight?
Liana Buchanan
9. What if There Is Nowhere to Get Advice?
James Organ and Jennifer Sigafoos
10. The End of 'Tea and Sympathy'? The Changing Role of Voluntary Advice Services in Enabling 'Access to Justice'
Samuel Kirwan
11. Reasoning a Human Right to Legal Aid
Simon Rice
12. Cuts to Civil Legal Aid and the Identity Crisis in Lawyering: Lessons from the Experience of England and Wales
Natalie Byrom
13. Access to What? LASPO and Mediation
Rosemary Hunter, Anne Barlow, Janet Smithson and Jan Ewing
14. Insights into Inequality: Women's Access to Legal Aid in Victoria
Pasanna Mutha-Merennege
15. Indigenous People and Access to Justice in Civil and Family Law
Melanie Schwartz
16. Austerity and Justice in the Age of Migration
Ana Aliverti


“The book provides a sound introduction to the challenges of the Australian and UK legal aid sectors. Innovators will see within the essays opportunities for innovations to ameliorate the otherwise harsh consequences of systemic changes driven by funding cuts, rather than client needs.” –  Katie Miller, executive director, Legal Practice, Victoria Legal Aid, Law Institute Journal

Access to Justice & Legal Aid presents important perspectives on the crisis in unmet legal need in England, Wales and Australia, and makes a compelling case that governments at all levels should reverse the decline in support for legal aid and address the unmet legal need forthrightly.” –  Douglas S Eakeley, Rutgers Law School, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books

“This book is a welcome contribution to the 'excellent but thin' body of literature examining access to justice in Australia, and its comparative perspective adds a level of depth to that understanding. Practitioners, researchers and policymakers will all take something from this collection.” –  James Farrell, Alternative Law Journal

“Overall, this is an excellent and informative book. It will be of great use both to the novice wanting an introduction of contemporary issues in access to justice and legal aid and to the specialist wishing to deepen their knowledge and stimulate further discussion and debate. Perhaps most of all, it ought to be considered required reading for policy-makers in this area.” –  James Thornton, Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University, Legal Studies

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