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The Future of Social Justice in Britain: A New Mission for the Community Legal Service
Jonathan M. Stein
August 2001
Paper No' CASE 048:
Full Paper (pdf)

Tags: legal aid; social justice; community legal services

This paper explores the disjuncture in the New Labour Government between the largest reform in fifty years of the nation's Legal Aid system and the concurrent pursuit of progressive anti-poverty, social inclusion, community regeneration, and human rights social policies. The failure of the newly created Community Legal Service (CLS) to incorporate these policies reveals the contradictions in the Third Way's effort to reconcile private market, managerial efficiencies with the goals of advancing social justice. This failure to adopt a social justice mission for the reformed legal aid and advice system, it is argued, shows the limited vision of these reforms and defines an unfinished agenda for a second term Labour Government. The paper suggests what would constitute a social justice mission for the CLS.