Skip to main content

About this free course

Download this course

Share this free course

Pro bono work and social justice
Pro bono work and social justice

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

2.5 The funding of the justice system

It has been argued that with LASPO 2012, the funding of the justice system became broken. Commentators suggest that the government appears to have made a political decision that either there is no funding or it should be the funder of last resort. It is not clear whether the government believed the not-for-profit sector would be able to fill the gap. A Ministry of Justice report [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] (Ames et al., 2015) found that in 2005 there were 3266 advice centres; in 2014/15 that had fallen to 1462. There is a crisis in funding and increasingly it would appear the pro bono sector is being expected to provide ‘access to justice’. Is there now a stronger argument to make pro bono mandatory?

Activity 5 Should pro bono be mandatory?

Timing: You should allow yourself 1 hour and 30 minutes to do this activity.

You have now learned about the changes to the availability of legal aid and the impact it is having on access to justice.

Read this short article and watch these two videos before answering the questions set out below: The second video is a debate. The panellists are Jo Hickman, Head of Casework at the Public Law Project; Yasmin Waljee, International Pro Bono Director at Hogan Lovells; Sir Robin Knowles, High Court Judge and Chairman of the Bar Pro Bono Unit; and Julie Bishop, Director of the Law Centres Federation, which is the representative body of the national network of community law centres.

Download this video clip.Video player: ‘Debate: Access to Justice, Legal Aid and Pro Bono in the UK’ (2014)
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
‘Debate: Access to Justice, Legal Aid and Pro Bono in the UK’ (2014)
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
  • a.Consider the relationship between legal aid and pro bono.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
  • b.Given the reduction in legal aid, should pro bono be mandatory?
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).
  • c.Write a blog post of 250–500 words arguing either in favour of or against compulsory pro bono. If you are interested in having your blog post published you can email it to the Open University’s Open Justice team at open-justice@open.ac.uk and they will consider it for inclusion in the Open Justice blog.

Comment

Each blog posting will be different depending on your view on whether pro bono should be compulsory.