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Legal Aid Rules Relaxed to Help Victims of Domestic Abuse

Welcome Changes for Victims of Domestic Abuse

As more statistics are released to highlight further the effect of the legal aid cuts in April 2013 on the number of people having to represent themselves in Court in family cases, particularly people who are victims of abuse and have to face their perpetrators in Court, there is some relief on the horizon as a result of the Government’s relaxation of the legal aid evidence requirements which came into effect on Monday 08 January 2018.

When the rules were first introduced, there was a two year time limit on the evidence of domestic abuse that would be accepted, and that was extended to five years in May 2016 following a Court of Appeal ruling that this requirement was unlawful. The Government have now decided to remove the time limit altogether, which lends weight to the argument that has repeatedly been made by many victims’ groups that this time limit was arbitrary and only had the effect of penalizing those victims of domestic abuse who fell foul of it.

The categories of acceptable evidence of domestic abuse have now been widened as well, to include statements from domestic violence support organizations and housing officers, who are often more closely involved with victims of abuse than the police, social services or medical professionals who are able to provide relevant evidence already.

Whilst it is still being questioned by some whether these changes go far enough, it is hoped that they will make it easier for victims of abuse to provide the evidence needed to be able to access legal aid to assist them with their legal disputes.

At Crosse + Crosse, we have specialist solicitors who are experienced at dealing with these types of cases. If you have been refused legal aid before, or simply want to establish whether or not you would be eligible for legal aid based on your particular circumstances in light of the new rules, please feel free to contact us on 01392 258451 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange an appointment to discuss matters further.

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