UK courts under threat in £1bn Justice budget cuts

| 10/08/2010

(The Daily Mail): Frontline legal services could be axed following massive cuts in Ministry of Justice funding outlined in a secret Government memo. The document, by the MoJ’s finance department, reveals it will slash £102million from the Court Service budget over the next three years. The memo also details a £193million cut in legal aid and a £39million drop in the Tribunals Service budget by 2011 following this year’s Comprehensive Spending Review. Critics warn the move would inevitably hit public access to justice and could create delays in criminal prosecutions and a wide range of civil disputes. And sources claim MoJ officials are already discussing where the cuts will fall. It is understood that up to 150 courts and tribunals, in five regions, could be forced to merge or close. Gary Slapper, professor of law at the Open University, said: "This will significantly compromise people’s ability to receive justice."

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