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Tag Archive | "kenneth clarke"

Chris Grayling’s baby

Reducing the fees of barristers and solicitors should be an easy policy to sell in an era of austerity. But, as Chris Grayling’s minions attempt to spin highly misleading stories about ‘fatcat legal aid lawyers’, such has been the persistent ferocity of the united opposition to the ‘Transforming legal aid’ consultation that focus has fallen on the author of this lamentable scheme. Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal AidComments (1)

Co-op Law

Last week the first three firms were given approval to operate as Alternative Business Structures (ABSs) and duly licensed.

For those unfamiliar with the territory, an ABS is a firm where a non-lawyer is a manager of the firm, or has an ownership-type interest in the firm. A firm may also be an ABS where another body is a manager of the firm, or has an ownership-type interest in the firm and at least 10 per cent of that body is controlled by non-lawyers. The Legal Services Act is designed to liberalise the £23bn UK legal market by allowing companies to provide legal services, and Read the full story

Posted in Law UpdatesComments (0)

Dangerous drivers to face longer jail terms

Dangerous drivers who seriously injure others could spend longer in jail thanks to a new criminal offence.

For the vast majority of dangerous driving cases the maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment provides the courts with sufficient and proportionate powers to punish offenders. The new offence of ‘causing serious injury by dangerous driving’ will carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and allow the courts to impose tougher punishments on dangerous drivers. Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Law UpdatesComments (0)

Mandatory prison sentences

Word has it that there have been some fierce knock’em down and drag’em out battles in cabinet between Theresa May and Kenneth Clarke on the subject of mandatory prison sentences. If that is the case the home secretary has triumphed. David Cameron has intervened and decided.

Clarke made clear his personal opposition to the use of mandatory sentences at a hearing of the Commons home affairs committee on Tuesday. His preference is to give judges unfettered discretion to set sentences based on the facts of the cases for nearly all crimes except murder. He also made clear his view that Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Law UpdatesComments (0)

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill (part 1)

Twelve months ago in the Rose Garden we were promised a coalition government guided by progressive values and reason. Justice secretary Ken Clarke seemed to have been so guided, with a green paper setting out a rehabilitative revolution in penal reform, driven by the prohibitive human and financial cost of the current regime. Read the full story

Posted in Law Updates, Legal AidComments (0)

Legal aid: a letter to Ken Clarke

Linda Lee, president of the Law Society, has written to the Justice Secretary calling on him to pause legal aid reforms to allow more scrutiny.

She wrote: “The Legal Action Group (LAG) and the Law Society continue to have very serious reservations about the government’s proposals for changes to legal aid provision in England Read the full story

Posted in Law Updates, Legal AidComments (0)

Breaking the cycle

In May the Coalition Programme for Government committed to a full review of sentencing and rehabilitation policy. That review has now produced a detailed green paper in which Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke seeks to tear up rules on fixed jail terms for offenders and restore the discretion of judges when sentencing murderers and other serious offenders. Read the full story

Posted in Criminal JusticeComments (0)

Reform of Civil Litigation Funding and Costs in England and Wales

When Kenneth Clark made his Commons statement on 15 November it was the detail of the slashing cuts in legal aid that made the headlines. But there was a second, equally important, consultation announced, on implementing Lord Justice Jackson’s recommendations on the reform of civil litigation costs and funding arrangements. Read the full story

Posted in Civil Law, Law Updates, Legal AidComments (0)

Legal Aid Cuts

On Monday Ken Clarke took his knife to legal aid. The scale of the reductions revealed in the Green Paper  – £350m a year to be taken out of a £914m annual civil and family legal aid budget by 2014 – had been widely anticipated. The total bill of civil and criminal legal aid currently runs to £2.1bn a year, and a substantial contribution towards the reduction of 23% over four years in the Department’s budget was inevitable. Read the full story

Posted in Civil Law, Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice, Law Updates, Legal AidComments (0)

Ministry of Justice and the spending cuts

Ken Clarke has been a big beast in the Westminster jungle for a long time and he more than most understands how the pecking order works. A minister’s standing in the eyes of his own and other departments is directly related to his success in standing up to the Treasury in any budgetary negotiations. On this basis, the Ministry of Justice’s above average cut of Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal AidComments (0)

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