HL Deb 16 December 1997 vol 584 cc84-5WA
Lord Lester of Herne Hill

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether their decision that legal aid should not usually be available to people claiming damages or financial compensation is intended to include those claiming damages or compensation for breaches by public authorities of their statutory duties (including the duties imposed by the Human Rights Bill) or misfeasance in public office or other abuses of public powers.

The Lord Chancellor

I will be consulting widely before I make any final decisions about changes to the scope of civil legal aid. It already appears to me that legal aid should probably continue to be available to bring proceedings for judicial review, housing matters or other social welfare issues, regardless of whether they include a claim for money or damages. It should also, probably, remain for the purposes of defending any proceedings currently within the scope of legal aid. More generally, however, it is my intention to move most money, or damages, claims out of the scope of civil legal aid.