WARNING: Chancellor’s courts funding cuts ‘will delay evictions’

Spending cuts in the justice system could leave it facing collapse, hitting possession hearings and impacting homelessness help, warns the Law Society.

The Chancellor’s autumn statement effectively reduces its budget, which is already breaking down after decades of underinvestment, reports the solicitors’ professional body. It cites the civil division – encompassing eviction proceedings – as a particular concern.

“Courts are crumbling, dogged by delays, and there are chronic shortages of judges and lawyers as professionals leave this underpaid work in their droves,” says vice president Nick Emmerson (pictured).

“In civil justice, there are vast legal aid deserts across England and Wales, meaning people who are entitled to legal aid can’t access it.

“The cost-of-living crisis and public spending cuts mean more and more people will need legal help with life-changing issues such as homelessness and debt.

“But who is going to give that vital advice if there aren’t enough solicitors to meet the current demand? The government will be forced to pick up the pieces, at greater cost, further down the line.”

Earlier this year, LandlordZONE reported how courts around the country were still overwhelmed, with some having to outsource possession hearings to other courts to deal with backlogs.

In July, the government vowed to speed up the evictions process for landlords by improving admin around bailiff enforcement activity and bringing in new technology as part of the courts and tribunals service reform programme.

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