ME Group has backed calls by the Association of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO) for more investment into the justice system in-order to protect vulnerable consumers.

The not-for-profit body has written to the government in response to this year’s spending review, about the importance of funding being proportionate, allowing people the right to justice.

However, they also feel that financial resource alone isn’t enough, and new ways of working such as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) would be key in the process.

Rob Cooper, CEO of ME Group, a LegalTech group which helps law firms gain redress for consumers via its litigation funding and technology services, supports ACSOs stance.

He said: ‘Investment in the UK justice system is essential to ensure it delivers access to justice for all stakeholders.

‘With more focus on technology, and improving the operational mechanics of the system, investing could now pave the way for significant future savings.

‘In contrast, continuing to spend at the same level, or spending more without investment in reform, will limit access to justice and decrease confidence in the justice system as a whole.

‘The Covid-19 crisis forced a seismic shift towards better use of technology and has given us a small glimpse of what the possibilities truly are.

‘With policy and spending support from the very top of government, and organisational capacity for change, the UK has the opportunity to accelerate the adoption of technology across the justice eco-system for the benefit of all.’

ACSO has called for justice spending to be returned, in real terms, to 2010 levels as a starting point.

Matthew Maxwell Scott, Executive Director of the organisation, said:

‘Consumers need to have more choices made available to them, and to be given the chance to understand what their different options may mean for them and those around them.

‘This is a role for all of those involved in the civil justice system, but the government has a particular duty here.

‘The justice system must not be a Cinderella service. Just like our National Health Service, it is essential it operates effectively when people need it most, and especially for the most vulnerable people.

‘If that means new sources of funding, they should be made available. And where it needs new ways of thinking, ACSO, its members and partners look forward to helping provide them.’