The CoLD coalition’s new proposal on legal aid in England is quite scary, given that so many people will be unable to go to the courts even when the law is completely on their side, simply because the cannot afford to.
However, legal aid was already unavailable to lots of people who couldn’t realistically pay the lawyer’s fee (without having to sell their home).
The way I see it, the price for going to the courts should depend on your ability to pay – it shouldn’t be limited to rich people and those on legal aid. Ideally, it should be free if the courts decide you’re in the right, and cost a certain percentage of your wealth/income if you’re in the wrong.
The same goes for compensations received. It’s ludicrous that you can get more money for the same injury if it was the fault of a big corporation than if it was caused by a poor person – to the injured, the consequences are the same.
The solution would be to pool everything: All legal fees and damages should be determined by people’s ability to pay and put into one massive pot, and compensations should come out of this according to need.
In that way, nobody would we priced out of using the legal system, and nobody would lose their home or become instant millionaires depending on the outcome of a court case.