13 June 2013
Concerns over language impacts of legal aid changes
Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP, Elfyn Llwyd, has raised concerns over the impact proposed changes to legal aid will have on Welsh language provision.
Mr Llwyd, who was consistently campaigned against the changes expressing particular concern for services in rural areas, warns that people’s fundamental right to receive legal aid through the medium of Welsh will be eroded as the Government removes the individual’s right to choose their legal representation.
He added that the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, had admitted that his department had given very little consideration to the future of Welsh language provision, and that there’s a strong possibility that the changes fail to conform to the Welsh Language Act and are therefore illegal.
Mr Llwyd said: “Access to justice should be a fundamental right for every citizen. “These reforms signal a government undermining this belief by forfeiting client choice in an attempt to keep costs down.
“The legal aid system in the UK was established so as to help the most destitute."