Posted on 12 April 2013.
Consultations are like buses. There must be one well on its way because two have just arrived at the same time.
On Monday, MoJ issued a consultation document which sets out the government’s proposals for further reform of the legal aid system in England and Wales. The expressed aim of the proposals is to deliver savings of £220 million per year by 2018/19. At its launch, justice secretary Chris Grayling said: Read the full story
Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal Aid
Posted on 24 January 2013.
Last week the Law Society, the Legal Services Board and the Ministry of Justice published the results of a research project into the supply of legal services by solicitors’ firms.
The report – ‘A time of change: solicitors’ firms in England and Wales’ – is the culmination of what claims to be one of the largest ever surveys. Based on a sample of 2,007 firms, the report reveals how solicitors’ firms of all types are performing, in the context of recession, market changes, regulatory developments and legal aid reforms. Read the full story
Posted in Civil Law, Criminal Justice, Legal Aid
Posted on 13 December 2012.
The Low Commission on the Future of Advice and Legal Support was launched last week. The Commission, chaired by Lord Colin Low, a crossbench peer and former chairman of the Royal National Institute of Blind People, will examine how to cope with deep cuts to legal aid at a time of complex benefits reforms. Read the full story
Posted in Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice, Legal Aid
Posted on 15 November 2012.
Last week was National Pro Bono week, an opportunity for the legal profession to take pride in its very impressive commitment to volunteering.
With the support of the Law Society, LawWorks has surveyed the legal profession to find out what pro bono is being done, how it is supported in organisations and what the future might look like. Last week saw the launch of the LawWorks Pro Bono Survey 2012. Read the full story
Posted in Legal Aid
Posted on 20 April 2012.
The legal aid, sentencing and punishment of offenders bill suffered 11 defeats in the House of Lords, far more than the controversial NHS reform bill that was recently signed into law.
The bill came back to the House of Commons on Tuesday, and the government announced that it was prepared to accept three of the amendments but would seek to disagree the other eight. It has agreed to accept that the new director of legal aid casework should be independent; that legal aid should be preserved for appeals to the upper tribunal, court of appeal or supreme court in welfare benefits cases; and to amend the bill’s definition of domestic violence. Read the full story
Posted in Civil Law, Criminal Justice, Law Updates, Legal Aid
Posted on 07 March 2012.
The government suffered three defeats on the first day of Report stage of its legal aid, sentencing and punishment of offenders bill in the Lords on Monday. Despite almost universal hostility during the ten days of Committee stage, ministers had hoped that it would not translate into parliamentary defeats. The bill now seems destined to endure the same difficult passage through the Lords suffered by the proposed changes to health and welfare. Read the full story
Posted in Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice
Posted on 17 February 2012.
There was rare consensus between the government and the opposition at the start of the ninth day of line-by-line consideration of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment bill at Committee stage in the House of Lords last week.
The occasion was an amendment to the bill, proposed by Lord Beecham, to insert a clause allowing the ‘right to appeal bail decisions’. The government had also put down a similar amendment. Lord Beecham said: “This amendment and the government amendment arise from the brutal murder of Jane Clough, a 26 year- old nurse and mother of a baby daughter, by the partner with whom Read the full story
Posted in Case Law, Criminal Justice, Legal IT
Posted on 13 January 2012.
As the legal aid, sentencing and punishment of offenders bill returns to the House of Lords at committee stage, an independent report from a leading university reveals how the legal aid changes will incur new costs for the taxpayer by simply shifting the burden onto other parts of the public purse.
The King’s College London report ‘Unintended Consequences: the cost of the Government’s Legal Aid Reforms’ was commissioned by the Law Society because of the Ministry of Justice’s reluctance to publish estimates of the knock-on costs of its proposed changes to legal aid policy. Published on Monday, the report shows Read the full story
Posted in Law Updates, Legal Aid
Posted on 12 January 2012.
Line-by-line scrutiny of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill continued on Tuesday in the House of Lords. Members continued where they left off before the Christmas recess when four amendments to clause 1, which defines the Lord Chancellor’s responsibilities, were debated and then withdrawn without being put to the vote.
Lord Beecham moved another amendment to clause 1 which called upon the Lord Chancellor to Read the full story
Posted in Civil Law, Law Updates, Legal Aid
Posted on 22 December 2011.
Michael Foot once memorably described him as a ‘semi-house trained polecat’ in recognition of his fierce right wing views. So when the same Norman Tebbit, now ennobled, proposes what can only be described as liberal minded amendments to the current Legal Aid bill it is a moment of significance.
He has put his name down to two, linked amendments that would ensure children, or parents on their behalf, will be entitled to legal aid if they need to pursue medical negligence claims. In relation to depriving claimants under the age of 18 from having access to legal aid for medical negligence claims, he told the ‘Guardian’: Read the full story
Posted in Civil Law, Civil Liberties, Legal Aid