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Posted 1 March 2017
by Aimee Aspinall

Domestic Abuse: Legal Update

Rise in Legal Aid Applications

The Ministry of Justice’s most recent statistics reveal a rise in applications for and grants of legal aid. During 2016 there was an increase in both applications for representation and granting of legal aid certificates in cases where applicants can show there is a risk of or has been domestic violence or child abuse.

Comparing July to September 2016 with the same period in 2016, applications were up 26% and certificates granted were up 51%.

President of Family Law Division: “pressing need to reform the way in which vulnerable people give evidence”

In a recent statement, the President of the Family division, Sir James Munby, commented on the issue of unrepresented alleged perpetrators of domestic violence being able to cross-examine their alleged victims during family proceedings.

The Guardian recently investigated this further and the Justice Secretary, Liz Truss, has called for an urgent review of the law.

In criminal proceedings, it is illegal for alleged perpetrators to cross-examine their alleged victims.


For specialist advice on Family Law matters please contact Tracy Lambert and her expert team at Tozers LLP, Broadwalk House, Southernhay West, Exeter, EX1 1UA. Direct dial : 01392 667685. Email :

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About the author

Aimee Aspinall

Chartered Legal Executive

Chartered Legal Executive in the Exeter family team