But he is right to press ahead with his wider campaign to reform legal aid. The Bill attempts to tackle the increase in the cost of legal aid by differentiating between help for criminal and civil cases. People accused of a crime will still be entitled to legal aid after means tests. This will not be true of litigants in civil cases unless they are involved in either a family law case or a personal injury case.
Vexatious litigants should not expect taxpayers to fund their obsession. By encouraging the development of "no win, no fee" arrangements for civil matters, the Government forces solicitors to take a hard look at a case before taking it on and using up the precious time of the courts.
If the Bill is enacted, it will be operating in an altered legal environment. As of this week the recommendations of the Woolf Report will be introducing the biggest changes to the civil legal system in a generation. Through fines and the removal of legal obscurities, the new procedures encourage litigants and solicitors to settle cases as speedily as possible. The less time and money that is wasted on trivial cases, the more money will be available for ensuring that everyone who needs access to justice gets it.Reuse content