A study of legal aid and advice in England and Wales.

ALCOCK, Peter Christopher. (1976). A study of legal aid and advice in England and Wales. Masters, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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It is the purpose of this study to examine the social nature of legal aid. The thesis takes as its point of departure the dehates about the problems identified in the administration of the legal aid scheme and the suggestions to improve this scheme. It seeks firstly to provide the reader with an account of the historical changes in legal aid in order to acquaint him with the knowledge about legal aid on which the debates and suggestions are based. Following this the major protagonists are considered and categorised according to their approach towards the problems of legal aid. It is suggested that these varieties of approach, however, all suffer from fundamental limitations in that they fail to question or examine the social and historical basis of legal aid and the legal system. It is argued that only by examining this basis can the nature of legal aid be understood and suggestions for amelioration or change assessed. The second half of the thesis is a detailed study of the social basis of legal aid in the period of the 1920's, 1930's and early 1940's, a period chosen because of its importance for the growth of welfare services generally. The major groups involved in the creation of legal aid are identified and their interests examined; then the role of these groups in producing and changing legal aid is analysed. This is followed by a conclusion which draws together the main themes discussed in the production of legal aid in this period, stressing in particular the importance of the response of the lower classes to the scheme, and re-emphasises the need to understand the social basis of the phenomenon in order to assess policy recommendations. It is the development of this argument and its demonstrationin the analysis of the production of legal aid that is the major contribution of this thesis to sociology and socio-legal studies.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Thesis (M.Phil.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 1976.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:18
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 11:22
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19235

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