Legal aid and family law reform in Ireland.
While Australia and the rest of the western world were restricting both funds and eligibility for civil legal aid during the 1990s, Ireland, whose civil legal aid is 97% devoted to family law matters, was expanding. At first glance, it might be supposed that the expansion of legal aid for family law matters in Ireland was a result of the introduction of legislation that for the first time allowed legal divorce in 1997. However, the reasons are more interesting and complex than this and need to be understood in terms of Ireland's history, politics and culture. Indeed, these factors combine to ensure that civil legal aid in Ireland is in a state of perpetual chaos.