There have been a number of questions in The House on family legal aid reform. I see from Lords of the Blog (the House blog) that Baroness Deech, whose pronouncements on family law I do not always agree with, is due to ask a further question. Good on her.
Questions to date (there may be more – please post any others in comments if you have them to hand):
7 Dec 2010 : (Hansard Column 194W )
Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the financial effects on the justice system of litigants who do not qualify for legal aid and do not have the financial means to engage professional representation of appearing in person.
Mr Djanogly: Current evidence of the impact of litigants in person on the justice system is limited. We are currently reviewing the existing data and research to inform the final impact assessments that will support the reforms to Legal Aid on which we are currently consulting. While the thrust of these reforms is to reduce recourse to the courts, we recognise that they will also potentially lead to an increase in litigants in person. We consider that the overall effect should not significantly impact on court or tribunal operating costs. There will be a post-implementation review of any reforms.
23 Nov 2010 : 
Tony Lloyd (Manchester Central) (Lab): What estimate he has made of the reduction in the number of family law cases that will be eligible for legal aid during the period of the comprehensive spending review.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Mr Jonathan Djanogly): We estimate that removing from the scope of legal aid most private family law cases, except for those involving domestic violence, forced marriage and international child abduction, would reduce the number of people receiving advice under the legal aid scheme by about 211,000 annually and of those represented in court by just under 54,000 annually. Together, those figures represent an estimated annual saving of £178 million. However, we have also decided to retain legal aid for mediation to help separating couples sort out their issues without the courts where possible.
Tony Lloyd: The Minister’s last point is very important. In many such private cases, child-protection issues arise. Can he give the House an absolute guarantee that private cases in which child protection becomes an issue will still receive legal aid? If not, these cost savings will be at the expense of our children’s future.
Mr Djanogly: Absolutely; where a public family law matter arises, that case will remain within scope. If a child is subject to being taken away from their parents, legal aid will be available.
[Note the logical fallacy in the assumption that child protection = public law, which either suggests a pretty basic misunderstanding of the position by the minister or an even more concerning deliberate evasion.]