In another debate in the House of Commons this week, Justice Minister Oliver Heald has promised to roll out a review programme which would regularly check and monitor support available for domestic violence victims.
When asked whether he accepted that the current provisions within the Legal Aid, Sentencing And Punishment Of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) were manifestly unfair to families exposed to domestic violence, Heald replied:
“[The Conservative Government] promised…. that there would be a review of LASPO and the legal aid provisions, and we have announced the timetable for that review, which has been welcomed, but I agree that we should have a process of constant improvement in helping the victims of domestic violence.”
We shouldn’t hold our breath though. The timetable to examine LASPO’s effects, which estimates a review will take place a year from now, gives the government ample time to avoid addressing the terrible mess it’s made of the legal system and what will likely be enormous expense as a result, at a delicate time when it is trying to suggest that its overall policies have regenerated the economy and made everyone better off. With the election in June too, it’s keen not to rock the boat and any promises about regular checks and balances are just that, promises. And we all know how easily promises in politics are made, and broken.