Sample Law Paper on Legal Aid and Governance

Prompt. Lord Lester QC stated “Law care is as important to our wellbeing as healthcare, but it is no longer within the reach of most people”. The decline of legal aid is therefore a failure to the government.

Globally, any institution is governed by laws that define the procedure or behavior to be upheld in the institution. Laws are defined as a set of a clearly defined set of rules and guidelines that control the actions of a country’s or community’s subjects. Breaking of laws is liable to penalties. Legal aid, on the other hand, refers to the provision of assistance to people who cannot afford legal representation and access to courts (Feeley, 2013). It ensures equality of justice and promotes fair trial for everybody. A government that fails to offer legal aid is bound to fail in its administration, as illustrated in the essay below.

Most people are oblivious of the fact that legal aid is mandatory for everyone in a population. Unlike doctors’ and teachers’ strikes, legal advisors’ and barristers’ strikes are not given much consideration because many people lack the legal know-how of their right to justice (Ho, 2018). As a result, the decline of legal aid has resulted in increased numbers of divorces in families, especially those with internal disputes, for example, inheritance. This is a result of failed family court systems since most people do not comply with the litigation since they cannot afford to pay lawyers. As a result, the government ends up with little or no operations in family courts as the people decide to take the laws into their own hands.

Domestic violence is mentioned as a possible result of declined legal aid (Feeley, 2013). A case scenario is, for example, if a person reports their partner for domestic violence claims, and they are asked to pay for the legal procedures. Yet they can barely afford, the person is bound to go back to the same mistreating partner. The partner, seeing that there is nothing that the law can do against them, can result in the abuse and make it a norm seeing that nobody questions them.

The decline of legal aid has also prevented many people from seeking justice against high charges imposed by the government (Ho, 2018). This can include high taxes, rates, rents, and bills. Most people end up suffering to meet these needs; thus, incurring high pay cuts unwillingly. However, they are demotivated to pursue legal systems since it is more expensive to pay for the legal proceedings. Also, legal action, before being taken, follows a series of court sessions, rendering it ineffective since it is slow. Seeing that most of these people are civil servants, they are likely to be rebellious to the government and organize strikes that pose a danger to the effective administration of a government.

Criminal activities as a result of the decline of legal aid by governments (Legal aid: Catalyst for social change, 2012). This is because many defendants are unable to claim legal assistance in criminal cases. As a result, the criminals end up not being summoned due to a lack of evidence against them. Eventually, they are freely released and continue with their criminal activities posing a danger to the rest of the community. A government with an increased number of illegal activities is bound to fail since most of the people lose trust in the administration.

The decline of legal aid has also led to increased unemployment, especially in law-related fields, for example, lawyers. Most of these skilled professionals end up doing menial jobs for survival since not many people can afford to pay for their service. Besides, fewer people are being hired as public lawyers since it becomes a dormant position in the legal system, as not many people can access it for assistance (Feeley, 2013). A government with increased unemployment levels is termed to be unstable economically and can lead to its failure.

 

References

Feeley, M. M. (2013). Court reform on trial: Why simple solutions fail. Quid Pro Books.

Governance agreement respecting legal aid, dated for reference April 1, 2019, among her majesty the Queen in right of Alberta, as represented by the minister of justice and solicitor general for the province of Alberta (the “Minister”) and the Law Society of Alberta (the “Law Society”) and the legal aid society of Alberta (“Legal aid Alberta). (2018).

Ho, H. (2018). Reducing failure to appear in court. AEA Randomized Controlled Trials. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3098

Legal aid: Catalyst for social change. (2012). Raman Mittal.