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Legal Aid Reforms Defeated in the House of Lords

8th March 2012

Government plans to save over £350m a year, by scrapping some legal aid options, suffered a set back today; after the House of Lords overturned the series of cost-saving proposals.

The proposals were defeated 237 to 198, preserving the legal aid available for appeals against welfare benefit decisions and defeating the overall proposed reforms to the legal aid, sentencing and punishment of offenders bill.

The voting occurred after two hours of heated debate in the House of Lords, in which almost all of the speakers in the upper chamber opposed the Ministry of Justice plans. Peers from every party stepped up to question whether the changes to the bill would, in fact, make the proposed savings. 

The move is also great news for those in solicitor jobs, as if the reforms had been passed it would have been a further blow to the legal industry.