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Fears of further cuts in legal aid

Further reductions in legal aid for asylum seekers could be in the
pipeline.

Legal aid for initial applications is to be limited to five hours
from next May, but the chairperson of the all-party parliamentary
refugee group warned of further cuts.

Neil Gerrard told the conference: “I don’t believe what’s been
announced is the end of the story.”

He said he would not be surprised if further measures were
introduced to prevent asylum seekers accessing legal aid unless
they appealed.

Gerrard said the introduction of a single tier of appeal and the
“effective removal of judicial oversight” meant that case law would
not be established.

“When this is coupled with legal aid cuts and future legal aid
cuts, it could be very serious,” he warned.

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