The Fabian Society provided the secretariat to Lord Willy Bach’s Commission on Access to Justice which provided detailed proposals for establishing the right to justice as a fundamental public entitlement.
Over the course of 2016 and 2017, the Bach Commission heard evidence from more than 100 individuals and organisations about the current crisis in the justice system. The commission found that cuts to legal aid have created a two-tier justice system where the poorest go without representation or advice.
In its final report, published on Friday 22 September 2017, the commission called on the government and other political parties to ensure minimum standards on access to justice are upheld through a new Right to Justice Act.
The proposed Right to Justice Act will:
- Codify our existing rights to justiceand establish a new right for individuals to receive reasonable legal assistance without costs they cannot afford
- Establish a set of principlesthat guide interpretation of this new right
- Establish a new bodycalled the Justice Commission to monitor and enforce this new right
To make the act a reality, the commission also sets out an immediate action plan for the government to: widen the scope of legal aid, with a focus on early legal help; reform the eligibility requirements for legal aid; replace the Legal Aid Agency with an independent body; and improve the public’s understanding of the law.
To read the final report, please click here
Please click here for a full list of the commissioners and biographies
Please click here for audio recordings of witness hearings