Access to justice, including fair trials – UK Government assessment

Progress assessment

Limited progress

There have been legal or policy changes to improve human rights protections but very limited evidence of sustained improvements in the enjoyment of human rights on this issue

The UK Government has taken important steps to improve victim support and access to legal aid, including the Victims’ Code coming into force. However, issues remain around the impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012 on access to justice in England and Wales. There is evidence of barriers for disabled people to access the justice system, and court modernisation – including the rapid roll-out of remote hearings – might negatively affect participation for certain groups. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed the court system and legal advice sector under significant additional strain, including by exacerbating existing case backlogs, though action has been set out to support recovery.

Read more about the UK Government’s actions on access to justice, including fair trials.

The assessment was made based on the evidence available up to 30/09/2021