Barristers call on MPs to scrap means testing for domestic abuse cases

The Bar Council, which represents all barristers in England and Wales, has released its briefing to MPs on the Domestic Abuse Bill ahead of the Bill’s return to the Commons.

  • The Bar Council urges the Government to make non-means tested legal aid available for all domestic abuse cases.
  • Despite a 49% increase in domestic abuse cases since 2012, there has been a 41% reduction in legal aid expenditure on civil domestic violence cases in the same period.
  • The number of domestic abuse cases is at all time high and continues to rise. The pandemic has led to what the UN has called a “shadow pandemic”, with elevated levels of abuse and reduced chances of escape.
  • The Bar Council welcomes the Government’s commitment to making victims of domestic abuse automatically eligible for special measures in the family and civil courts – but more is needed.

Read the full briefing here

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