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Justice in a time of Austerity survey #1: Experiences of civil justice

Justice in a Time of Austerity is a project about peoples’ experiences of the civil justice system after the 2013 legal aid cuts. It combines academic and journalistic research to better understand the experiences of people as they move through the justice system of England and Wales.

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) severely restricted the state provision of legal aid for civil justice. The LASPO cuts have impacted on areas of publicly funded legal advice such as community care, debt, discrimination, employment, family, housing, immigration, mental health and welfare benefits.

Our research looks at whether these restrictions affects the fairness of the justice system by asking, how are people who use the justice system impacted by legal aid cuts? We do not think that discussions about legal aid cuts should be confined to debates around what the country can afford or how much lawyers are paid, we want to tell the stories of people who have relied on and/or been denied legal aid to draw out the human aspect of justice system.



  • Justice in a Time of Austerity is a collaboration between Jon Robins of the Justice Gap and Dr Daniel Newman of Cardiff University supported by the City law firm Ashurst. Over the next 12 months Daniel and Jon will be reporting on the impact of the 2013 legal aid cuts

  • Articles will appear here and on the LegalVoice site


As part of this project, we are crowdsourcing stories from people who have found themselves in the justice system facing these kinds of issues. Crowdsourcing means that we are inviting contributions from anyone who thinks they have a story to tell that can help us to paint a picture of civil justice today. (There is a second survey aimed at lawyers here).

We want to understand your experiences of the civil justice system. We want to know about whether you had legal aid and were able to use a lawyer funded by the state, or whether you did not qualify for legal aid, and what you had to do instead.

If you have a story to tell about your experiences with the civil justice system, please tell us about it by completing the following form. You will be helping us to understand the reality of access to justice and the impact of legal aid cuts and you will also be ensuring sure that future discussions about civil justice are more fully informed.

Complete the survey here.


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About Jon Robins

Jon is a journalist and has written about the law and justice for the national papers and specialist press for more than 15 years. Jon is a visiting journalism lecturer at Winchester University, a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln and patron of Hackney Community Law Centre. He has won the Bar Council’s legal reporter of the year award twice (2015 and 2005). Jon is editor and co-founder of LegalVoice

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