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Proposed Changes in evidence required for Legal Aid
The government are making big changes to the evidence requirements for domestic violence victims to qualify for legal aid.
Currently evidence of domestic violence must be no more than five years old. After revising this the government has decided to remove the time limit completely.
The types of evidence required will also be ‘significantly broadened’. Moving forward this will include evidence from domestic violence support organisations.
These two changes will enable many more victims of domestic violence to obtain legal aid who previously would have been prevented.
The move has been welcomed by the Law Society and domestic violence campaigners. It has long been thought that the rules for legal aid have been too restrictive. Evidence from Rights of Women found that up to 40% of women did not meet the requirements.
The director of Rights of Women called the decision ‘a victory for women and common sense’.
We now await the new guidelines and a date for these to be implemented and will keep you updated with regards to this.