Coronavirus (COVID-19)—most vulnerable in society disproportionately impacted

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—most vulnerable in society disproportionately impacted

The Law Society of England and Wales has released a report in which it analysed 'the impact of measures on the ability of vulnerable people to access justice and legal advice’ during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Law Society found that measures introduced by the UK’s Coronavirus Act had a ‘disproportionate impact on some of the most vulnerable in society’, such as victims of domestic abuse, those living in care homes and immigration centres and the disabled. The Law Society also provides key recommendations to government for its six-month review of the emergency measures.

Key findings of the report include:

• the pandemic has resulted in a 23% increase in backlogged cases in the family courts, and 26% in the criminal courts, which risks leaving defendants remanded in detention for even longer, even if they are found innocent

• only 16% of solicitors said that their vulnerable clients were able to effectively participate in remote hearings

• the lack of legal advice available to the most vulnerable will be very problematic when it comes to housing possession and immigration proceedings

The report can be read in full here.

Source: Law under lockdown: COVID-19 measures, access to justice and vulnerable people

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