Collecting signatures PE2002: Ensure access to legal aid for people with disabilities

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to provide increased funding for legal aid in civil cases for people with disabilities.

Previous action taken

I have contacted the Law Society of Scotland, the Scottish Legal Aid Board, and the Lord President of the Court of Session. None have been able to assist. I wrote to all the MSPs for my area. Only one replied, Jeremy Balfour MSP. Initially he said he would help and later said he could no longer do this.

Background information

I have been attempting for some time to obtain legal assistance to challenge decisions of the Department of Work and Pensions which I believe were reached in breach of the rules applying to such decisions. I have been advised that I could petition the Court of Session for Judicial Review. I do not have the capacity to do this for myself as I find written communication very difficult.

Disabled people are doubly disadvantaged within the legal system because of their low income, and the difficulty they have in pursuing legal actions on their own without assistance. The number of solicitors who carry out legal aid work is small and those who do are unable to take on new work, even to provide initial advice and assistance preparatory to legal action being taken. I believe that many people will be in a similar position to myself, and therefore are being discriminated against because they are unable to get justice. Our human rights are being breached.

  • Created by Grant White
  • Collecting signatures until 13 February 2023 Petitions can collect signatures for a maximum of 4 weeks

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What happens next?

The petition will be considered by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee after it stops collecting signatures

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