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People 'missing out on legal advice'

By Wesleyan

Cuts to legal aid have caused "misery" for thousands of people who cannot afford to pay for advice, experts have suggested.

A group of more than 100 law professionals claim the decision to reduce spending to around £1.7 billion in 2013-2014, down from £2.2 billion four years earlier, has had significant knock-on effects.

In a letter to the Guardian, it says the lack of access to justice for all has left poorer individuals at a disadvantage.

Former Lord Justice of Appeal Sir Alan Moses, who now heads the press regulatory body IPSO, is one of the big names to sign the letter.

Other signatories include Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights organisation Liberty, as well as a number of solicitors and clinical psychologists.

They warn the inequalities created by the cuts threaten the legitimacy of the justice system and democracy, and call for an independent body to review legal aid rates so public need for legal services is met.

Copyright Press Association 2015

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