There are options but not all are widely available.

I’m aware that there are options relating to the disability discrimination act 2010 which could be used by disabled parents who have had their children taken by social services for the symptoms of their disabilities. Law in theory and reality in the United Kingdom and probably throughout the world are completely different. In an ideal world, disabled people (whether it’s mental health issues, physical, intellectual, autism etc) should be able to take the authorities to legal proceedings under the DDA 2010 but it’s not going to be an option for any ‘normal’ ‘average’ type of person who doesn’t have the income or capital in savings to take local authorities and similar organisations to court. Even disabled people that have decent jobs cannot save up the amount to pay legal fees to get a top legal team to effectively sue the authorities for failing their support needs or, in other cases, causing them psychological damage due to how they were treated by the authorities. You simply can’t represent yourself because it’s complex. Authorities give the same excuses, for instance: person not engaging with services (in reality sometimes they haven’t even made contact with the service user or informed them of important meetings/communications), support offered didn’t work etc. Actions were in the course of their work so they shouldn’t face any case against them.

You need a top legal mind to pick through their excuses and bring up details of things that occurred which happened during a situation. Top legal representatives work their way up to the firms that are known as outstanding for private clients. You will NEVER get a decent legal mind paying via legal aid. That isn’t an insult to anyone who does legal work via the legal aid scheme. That scheme is in a dire mess nowadays which is why many opt for private work because they know that the payment will be enough for the work they put into any case. Legal aid is not enough to give the needed hours to any case now. That is why no one who is represented by legal aid gets a fair hearing. Some end up on remand for months/years (probably longer since the pandemic affected the court system, that system was bad enough before that added complication).

Basically, legal aid provides an official stamp to what other agencies (e.g police, cps etc) have charged a person with… it’s a case of open and shut, hope for the lesser severe outcome/charge, tell clients all to plead guilty because solicitors don’t get paid the extra to do extra work to prove their clients aren’t guilty or the whole circumstances of what led to a situation ending up in the court.

You cannot risk simply ‘winging it’ if you’re not trained. The court arena is quite hostile in itself without one side being fully trained and the others representing themselves. Trained legal representatives will run rings around you regardless whether you think that you’ve got a water tight case. No one without enough legal training will be able to effectively pick through case law and find bits to make enough of a case to win against anyone legally trained.

If you did take a case on grounds involved in the disability discrimination act 2010 without the right legal representation and it ended up being dismissed by a court there will be no way to get it heard again. There will be only one shot with the evidence you’ve managed to get together. I am currently about to start level 2 modules of my undergraduate law degree so I know how it works but there is no way I could confidently carry out any complicated legal work under the issues listed above. I just know from my degree course how, in theory, a situation under that act would work. I tried to stop my sons adoption years before I started this degree. I know from experience that attempting something like I did back then isn’t a good idea. There was no other option. Money talks in terms of getting success and/or justice in legal cases. That is the harsh reality of the way things work. If something is entered into court which hasn’t previously been challenged, it’s even harder to get a legal representative to take on the case. These are known as test cases. Once a test case has been successful, it opens up a door for others to make similar applications to courts. This is why the gatekeeping is quite strict when it comes to our appeal courts allowing cases to be reheard on new evidence. Landmark cases aren’t as easy to get heard as the media reporting them claims. It can take years of collating evidence, finding that evidence can be a huge challenge if the other side tries to hide details of wrongdoings and then finding a legal representative that will take on a case that has never previously been won is probably the hardest task. If solicitors/barristers don’t have a high enough success rate (obtained by cases they know is guaranteed to be successful) then that is basically the end of their career… although many legal aid only lawyers (United States: public defenders) are on that system due to low success rates because many of their repeated clients are found guilty. This is why there will never be a lawyer on legal aid who is one of the top legal representatives that exist.

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