Legal aid cut for prisoners ‘unlawful’ – legal commentary

Laura Nash, barrister at St John’s Buildings, said: “From a political perspective, this ruling is hugely significant, as it sends a clear message to the government that the current system simply isn’t working. Attacking legal aid is not the right way to go about gathering costs, especially for some of the most vulnerable in society, with many prisoners suffering from mental health problems and learning difficulties.

“It was also interesting to hear the court recognise that the burden cannot be placed on our prison officers, who are already pushed to breaking point. The short-staffing of our prison system has been a critical issue for many years, and this, coupled with the influx of legal highs like Spice and Black Mamba, mean that prison officers do not have the time to undertake further tasks.

“This could be the first step in the re-introduction of funding for prisoners, which is much needed in the current climate.”

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