The plans to save £350m and cut in prison population by 2,650 has passed its hurdle at the house of Commons when the bill for changes in sentencing policy and legal aid was cleared amid lot of opposition by all party MP’s. The Bill went through with a majority of 78 votes with 306 Aye’s and 228 Noye’s.
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said that though the bill was attacked from left and right will start to address some of the problems left behind by previous government.
The Labour said the Bill had controversial plans which included scrapping of indeterminate sentences to dangerous offenders and restricting legal aid to selective people. The bill it said was bad for the vulnerable people of the society.
Justice Secretary said he believed that it was a balanced bill and would tackle situations where the statute book has been filled with useless legislation under the previous government. He said that the Bill had actually started to address some of the problems.
The bill with two changes, ensuring that crime against disabled people to be treated on par with racially motivated attacks and appeal by prosecution lawyers against bail decisions of Crown courts, will go to the Lords.
Decision to scrap no-win, no-fee cases was criticised by the Labour which said that the legislation will make it harder for ordinary people to seek justice.
Almost everyone expressed concerns over legal aidcuts in the three days of discussion on the issue they argued that domestic violence victims would be left to suffer in silence as they would receive aid if and only they report abuse to the police. The disabled were about to lose as they will not be able to challenge any unjust benefit decision made against them they argued.
The right-wing Conservatives accused Mr Clarke of being too magnanimous by scrapping indeterminate sentences.
The government was determined to cut costs in the Legal Aid system hence; it said the changes were needed to help only the needy and deserving. The indeterminate terms had failed and it was unjust to inmates in prison living in doubt about their release, Mr Clarke said.
Duncan Lewis has the largest legal aid civil practice in the country, offering a very high-quality and cost-effective service to privately-paying clients. Duncan Lewis helps in being the voice and advisor to make a strong case on behalf of its client. In many cases, it provides legal advice assistance without any fee.