His speech in Australia earlier this month on the Magna Carta and access to justice in family proceedings was published two days before criminal law solicitors start a strike today over further cuts to their pay.
It also comes as senior judges aredrawing up guidelines on what judges should and should not say about government policy and planned legislation.
Mostyn J said it was inevitable, after the financial crash of 2008, that the coalition government would impose “serious curbs” on the legal aid scheme.
“What no-one anticipated was the savagery of the cuts, with private family law proceedings, save in certain very limited circumstances, being taken out of scope altogether.”
He went on: “Even allowing for the need to make cuts in order to reduce the fiscal deficit I do not accept that in the critically important area of private family law it has been necessary to sacrifice individual justice on the altar of the public debt, at least not to the extent that has happened.
“It is not clear to me why this particular pillar of the welfare state has had to fall.”
Mostyn J said the prediction of the Legal Action Group, that the cuts would lead to ‘an underclass of people disenfranchised from civil justice and indifferent to the rule of law’ was “slowly but surely” being fulfilled.
Read the full Legal Futures article here