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The English Legal System

The English Legal System (8th edn)

Alisdair Gillespie and Siobhan Weare
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date: 21 June 2024

p. 37111. Funding Access to Justicelocked

p. 37111. Funding Access to Justicelocked

  • Alisdair A. GillespieAlisdair A. GillespieProfessor of Criminal Law and Justice at Lancaster University
  •  and Siobhan WeareSiobhan WeareSenior Lecturer in Law at Lancaster University


This chapter examines how litigation is funded. It considers the growth, and eventual decline, in legal aid, and how alternative sources of funding have begun to be used. The chapter considers both criminal and civil litigation. It notes how there is an increase in defendants-in-person before the criminal courts because of restrictions in legal aid. It questions whether this is appropriate, particularly where the loss of liberty is a real possibility. The chapter also considers how civil litigation is now funded. This includes how ‘no win, no fee’ arrangements were at first encouraged, but then subject to restrictions because it was felt the balance of risk vs. gain was inappropriate. The chapter charts the growth of before and after-the-event insurance, and the increase in third-party funding where the litigation is for large sums of money.

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