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Access to Justice

Access to Justice

Exclusive: New research seen by BuzzFeed News shows that the number of people being turned away by family lawyers has risen fourfold since 2014.

Five men were killed by a wall collapsing at Hawkeswood Metal plant in Birmingham. Their families were expected to represent themselves at the inquest despite not speaking any English.

Exclusive: Internal emails seen by BuzzFeed News show officials in ministers’ private offices discussed legal aid applications with supposedly independent decision-makers before they were rejected.

Exclusive: The chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission told BuzzFeed News that Britain now faces a "two-tier" system with justice only for the rich.

Hajer Alwadaei was needlessly born without a nationality in London. BuzzFeed News has uncovered evidence of multiple failings in the Home Office's handling of stateless people like her.

The comments from the president of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale, have been made public as a report from MPs says cuts to criminal justice risk undermining the rule of law.

“The MoJ's handling of this FOI request has been nothing short of disastrous,” one barrister told BuzzFeed News.

The Information Commissioner's Office has begun a criminal investigation into the Ministry of Justice over allegations the department broke Freedom of Information law.

Concealing a document to prevent it being disclosed is a potential offence under the Freedom of Information Act.

“Some of them just sit there like a rabbit in the headlights and haven’t got a clue what’s going on," one judge said in a report leaked to BuzzFeed News.

"The government's cruel decision to deny legal aid for trafficking victims created unnecessary suffering and distress."

A judge has expressed dismay that a woman trying to protect her 10-year-old daughter from her abusive ex-partner was denied legal aid, which may have led to a miscarriage of justice.

Exclusive: Research obtained by BuzzFeed News shows judges were worried in 2015 that legal aid cuts were resulting in more people appearing in court with no lawyer.

Barristers across England and Wales are being urged to join a mass strike over reductions to legal aid, as outlined in a series of BuzzFeed News reports.

The means test for legal aid has not been updated since 2010 and a report for the Law Society shows this means people living in poverty are not getting access to a lawyer.

The number of people given public funding to fight an immigration case is lower than in any previous quarter on record, BuzzFeed News can reveal.

More people are being refused a legal aid lawyer in criminal cases even though they qualify for financial help, figures obtained under a freedom of information request by BuzzFeed News have revealed.

An exclusive survey by the Magistrates Association for BuzzFeed News found that in magistrates' most recent family court hearings, 68% of people represented themselves, up from 41% in 2014.

An exclusive survey of magistrates for BuzzFeed News shows 30% of all criminal defendants they saw at their last session had no lawyer, up from 24% in 2014.

Julie Hambleton, whose sister died in the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings, told BuzzFeed News it was “outrageous” that they have no legal aid for a court battle next week.

A Bar Council report shown exclusively to BuzzFeed News reveals many detainees do not get the legal advice they're entitled to, and are held for months for no crime.

A Law Society report seen by BuzzFeed News shows early legal advice means people resolve their issues faster, costing the court system less.

Ministry of Justice figures seen by BuzzFeed News show that for the first time, not a single case was referred.

Sir Ernest Ryder, senior president of tribunals, said the quality of evidence provided by the Department for Work and Pensions is so poor it would be “wholly inadmissible” in any other court.

Gloucestershire County Council attempted to stop journalists naming the authority, but this was successfully challenged in court by BuzzFeed News and two other news outlets.

Theresa May has pledged to investigate why the families had their application for exceptional legal aid funding rejected. Lawyers say the case illustrates the huge barriers to getting funding for public interest cases.

The Ministry of Justice took funding away from divorce law so more couples would seek mediation – but they are choosing to go to court with no lawyer instead.

Justice minister David Lidington said the review would look into changes to eligibility for free legal advice, among other things

Justice secretary David Lidington told MPs he would announce a review in “the very near future”, after politicians and lawyers told BuzzFeed News "injustices" were happening daily because of the cuts.

Conservative MP Bob Neill told BuzzFeed News the government could no longer “treat the law like a commodity”

A court transcript shows Folarin Oyebola was inaudible 71 times in his hearing, as new research suggests people representing themselves via videolink are disadvantaged in court.

Stephen Wildblood, a senior family law judge, spoke to BuzzFeed News about helping the growing number of people facing court without a lawyer.

The government is under pressure to review the cuts after BuzzFeed News revealed a sharp rise in people left with no choice but to represent themselves in court.

Exclusive: The number of people seeking support in court because they have no lawyer is up 520% since 2011. BuzzFeed News spent three days in Birmingham's courts to find out how these people cope.

The case was described by legal experts as "a damning indictment of our criminal justice system”, while the judge who sentenced her said he was "disturbed and concerned" by the situation.

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