Desmond Browne QC, the Chairman of the Bar, said: “The booklet paints a very moving picture of how legal aid has changed the lives of those going through the justice system since 1949. Continuous unnecessary cuts to legal aid are doing huge damage to a system which provides a cost-effective service to those who need it most. Recent cuts to family legal aid, which will result in a poorer service to vulnerable children and families, are just one example of the LSC’s mishandling of the reform of legal aid in England and Wales. This is likely to have serious consequences for those who are caught up in legal proceedings at a very difficult time in their lives. The Bar has consistently supported reform of the administration of legal aid, but it must be evidence-based and properly assessed for its impact. Arbitrary cuts will cost the taxpayer more in the long-term and may lead to miscarriages of justice. The public interest in providing proper funding for specialist advocacy remains as important today as it was in 1949 when the Legal Aid and Advice Act became law. Alongside healthcare and education, legal aid is one of the three main pillars of the welfare state. It deserves to be supported and not undermined in the name of supposed efficiency savings.”