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Last Updated: Monday, 29 November, 2004, 08:38 GMT



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Legal services 'failing the poor'


Law centres say take-up of cases is patchy

Attempts to tackle poverty in Scotland are being hampered because people on low incomes find it hard to gain access to the law, it has been claimed.

The Scottish Association of Law Centres said people on low wages often did not qualify for Legal Aid and legal costs could be too high for them to pay.

The association has called on the Scottish Executive to make more funding available for public legal services.

Members are due to make the call at a meeting in Glasgow on Monday.

It is understood that in cases of eviction and mortgage repossession, many poorer people in Scotland are being denied access to the law.

The association is the representative organisation for Scotland's community law centres.

The centres are run as charities and aim to tackle unmet legal needs of those in poverty.

They specialise generally in social welfare and housing law, refugee matters, immigration, debt, mental health, dementia, rights of victims, education law and discrimination law.

The issue of poverty and legal access is to be discussed at the association's annual conference.

SEE ALSO:

Families 'facing holiday poverty'
29 Jul 04 |  Scotland

Warning over child poverty policy
09 Dec 03 |  Scotland

UK moving up poverty league
09 Dec 03 |  UK

Child poverty figures challenged
18 Nov 02 |  Scotland

Child poverty claims spark row
16 Nov 02 |  Scotland

The lifelong impact of poverty
04 Nov 02 |  Scotland



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