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Legal Aid: Time to Act
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1st Feb 2011

The 14th February 2011, usually a significant date for some, whether that be because they enjoy (or are co-erced into, perhaps), a nice candle-lit 3 course meal, or because they want to avoid all the hype about such a commercialised day. Either way, it is, this year, an important date for all, and not for the obvious reasons. This year, on the 14th of February, the Government's consultation on the future of legal aid closes, and so it is no longer a day in the calender, it's a deadline.

Justice for All have a huge campaign snowballing with nearly 2000 members. I have signed up to the petition myself and it only takes a moment. I work on the front line with those who suffer from mental health problems, dealing with the issues they face every day. I am not funded by legal aid (therefore cannot be accused of being bias), but I know the impact that legal aid cuts could potentially have, and it could be catastrophic. We take for granted the help that we can receive to some extent, and as the old phrase goes- "You don't know what you got 'til it's gone." I feel this is one of those occasions. Imagine not being able to claim unfair dismissal if your boss dismissed you because you were a woman. Extreme example, but not beyond the realms of possibility.

I urge you all therefore to back the petition, sign up, write to your MP, give your personal examples of legal aid, do whatever it takes, because without legal aid we could face difficulties we just don't want to encounter.

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