How changes to legal aid payments have created a false economy and a failure of justice for both asylum seekers and taxpayers.
An asylum seeker takes his own life after his lawyers go into administration; a man and his family are thrown into detention because they've unwittingly been given false papers by an unscrupulous immigration adviser; a woman who's fled torture but hasn't been able to see her children for years because of bungling lawyers. Their experiences cost them money and heartache. But poor legal advice can cost all of us in the long run if wrongly advised clients end up appealing their decision, or people, who've been told incorrectly that they can stay, then have to be removed from the country at the taxpayers' expense.
Changes to the way legal aid is paid have made the system "unsustainable". Asylum lawyers can now wait years for legal aid payments to be settled. John Waite talks to some of the hundreds of committed advisers who have been forced out of their jobs because they either can't make it pay - or can't do the job properly any more. And he asks the Legal Services Commission to justify a false economy and a failure of justice.