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Vulnerability, legal need and technology in England and Wales

Newman, Daniel ORCID:, Mant, Jessica ORCID: and Gordon, Faith 2021. Vulnerability, legal need and technology in England and Wales. International Journal of Discrimination and the Law 21 (3) , pp. 230-253. 10.1177/13582291211031375

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This paper explores legal need and legal advice in England and Wales during the COVID-19 pandemic. It uses the lens of vulnerability theory to examine the ways in which this crisis exposed pre-existing fragilities between the state and its relationship with the advice sector, and the individuals who experience social welfare problems. The paper commences by exploring Fineman’s vulnerability thesis and its application to those experiencing social welfare-related issues, as well as the vulnerability of the systems operating to give advice. The paper then considers the specific context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on needs, and the ability of the sector to meet these needs. Drawing on policy documents, reports and three case studies from law centres in England and Wales, it discusses the concept of legal need and the realities being experienced. These case studies assist us in being able to critically consider the topics of vulnerability, changing needs and the role that technology is, and can play during the pandemic and beyond. Lastly, the paper points to the need for a critical consideration of the sustainability and format of legal advice in addressing legal need in the post-COVID-19 landscape.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 1358-2291
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 April 2021
Date of Acceptance: 14 April 2021
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2022 18:26

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