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Root-and-branch review of civil legal aid ‘essential’ – FLAC
Eilis Barry of FLAC

30 Mar 2022 / justice Print

Root-and-branch civil legal aid review essential – FLAC

Legal rights campaign body FLAC has said that clarity is required on the commencement of the long overdue review of civil legal aid.

Speaking after the publication of the Justice Plan, chief executive Eilis Barry said that there is growing demand for a root and branch review of the legal aid system. 

“Such a review is long overdue – and is an essential part of improving access to justice and developing a modernised civil legal aid system," she said. 

Last year FLAC welcomed the Department of Justice’s commitment to a review of civil legal aid in Q3 2021.

Marginalised

Those serving the marginalised and vulnerable face an ever-increasing demand on services, she said.

In 2020 FLAC received 12,468 calls and supported 4,860 people in its free legal advice clinics and initial figures indicate an increased demand for those services in 2021.

Policy officer Stephanie Lord said FLAC was dismayed that the planned review of civil legal aid did not commence as proposed in Q3 2021. 

“The Justice Plan 2022 which was published this week now suggests there will be progress on the review in Q4 2022 – this is over a year longer than originally planned. 

“This does not speak to the urgency required in the commencement of this review of the civil legal aid system in this country," she said.

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