The Legal Aid Review Panel has ruled that prisoners facing Parole Board hearings are eligible for legal aid. This is a victory for decency and the basic principle that everyone regardless of wealth should have equal access to justice. Parole Board hearings have a significant effect on people's liberty, and to demand that illiterate or disabled inmates face them without the benefit of legal representation in essence predetermines the outcome regardless of the merits.
Unfortunately the Legal Services Agency is appealing. I guess we'll have to hope that the High Court shares the Legal Aid Review Panel's regard for justice.