Local Assembly Member Joanne McCartney is championing the rights of domestic violence victims and other vulnerable groups to retain access to Legal Aid.
Joanne has written to the Ministry of Justice imploring him to reconsider the Government’s proposed drastic changes to access to Legal aid which will greatly impact on poorer communities. By contrast, the Mayor has not made any representations to Government, despite Joanne’s pleas.
One of the proposed cuts will see Legal Aid withheld from victims of domestic violence unless there is already an injunction or a criminal conviction. However, these vulnerable victims need Legal Aid beforehand to obtain the safety that injunctions and convictions offer.
Joanne said “I have written to the Ministry of Justice urging them to look again at the dangerous impact these cuts could have on victims. When I asked the Mayor what action he has taken, he said he supports cutting Legal Aid costs and told me he has not made any representations on behalf of London’s vulnerable groups.”
Joanne continued “I am deeply worried about the Government’s proposals. These cuts will clearly have a greater impact on poorer communities, on people who desperately need access to Legal Aid for their safety, and my constituency of Enfield & Haringey contains some of the poorest wards in the country. The Mayor could have easily made representations to his colleagues in Whitehall and I am severely disappointed that he has chosen not to.”