It has now been announced in the press that the time limits for preventing victims of domestic violence from obtaining legal aid for court hearings will now be scrapped
This indeed is welcoming news to all victims of domestic abuse that have penalised as a result of the five year limitation.
We at Morecrofts are delighted to read this update with the Press as this indeed is progress in the system to assisting victims of domestic abuse. There had been heavily criticised restrictions, which have over a period of time, resulted in large numbers of women confronting abusive ex partners without representation at Court, this will also be relaxed to accept evidence from victim support organisations. Indeed our own Shirley Bennett has since the changes in 2013, seen the anxiety caused to the victims at court when being confronted by their ex partners at Court. These changes should ensure that vulnerable women and children get legal support so their voice is properly heard in Court.
The removal of the five year ban and admission of fresh categories of evidence will help a large number of women and some men who have been deprived of legal advice and representation in family court disputes over child arrangements orders concerning the children of the family.
The system had clearly not been working. Women who experienced domestic violence were not qualifying for legal representation. That is now all set to change due to the changes. Previously this had left survivors unable to access the legal aid they were entitled to due to the evidence requirements being so restrictive, onerous and unrealistic. That is now set to change in January which is welcome news for victims of domestic abuse.
These changes are all down to the hard work of the Rights of Women who pursued their case against the MOJ on domestic violence eligibility for legal aid all the way to the Court of Appeal. Well done to them!