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Tag Archive | "Lord Dyson"

Deep divisions between the government and judiciary over court fees


In his annual report to parliament, Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd said our system of justice has become unaffordable to most. In consequence there has been a considerable increase of litigants in person for whom our current court system is not really designed.

He particularly drew attention to the steep increases in court fees, which judges formally opposed, meaning that the judiciary “whilst accepting the decisions by parliament to increase fees, remains deeply concerned about the effect on access to justice.” Read the full story

Posted in Civil LawComments (0)

Legal aid reforms and the election


According to the ‘Law Gazette’, lord chancellor Chris Grayling may not be able to proceed with his controversial legal aid reforms, even if he emerges victorious from a challenge heard in the Court of Appeal last week.

The Law Society and practitioner groups the Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association and London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association are appealing against Chris Grayling’s decision to press ahead with two-tier contracts for criminal legal aid. Government plans could result in some of the most vulnerable people being denied access to legal representation when they are accused of a crime. Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal AidComments (0)

eBay-style court for civil justice


In a report published this week the official body that oversees civil courts recommends that the UK justice system should receive a radical overhaul for the digital age with the creation of an online court to expand access to justice and resolve claims of up to £25,000.

The report’s principal author, Prof Richard Susskind, who is president of the Society for Computers and Law, said the UK was falling behind other countries that have begun to incorporate online elements into their judicial systems. “Our civil justice system is creaking,” said the report. “There is widespread concern today that dispute resolution in our courts is disproportionately expensive and insufficiently user-friendly for litigants in person,” it said. Read the full story

Posted in Civil LawComments (0)

‘Unqualified thicko justice secretary’


Yet another blow for the justice secretary, Chris Grayling. In the latest episode, guidance on who is eligible for legal aid in exceptional cases is “unlawful”, judges have ruled.

The High Court had said the guidelines on who was still eligible were “too restrictive” and overturned refusals of legal aid in six immigration cases. The government appealed against that decision but Court of Appeal judges have now upheld the original ruling. Read the full story

Posted in Legal AidComments (0)

Slippage at the MoJ – Competitive Tendering and Legal Aid reform


Last Wednesday Secretary of State for Justice, Ken Clarke, made a written statement to the Commons on Competitive Tendering. The proposed timetable has yet again slipped back.

He told the Commons: “The Government believe that tendering criminal defence work for competition, alongside regulatory changes, has the potential to significantly modernise legal aid provision, improve the service provided to legal aid clients, streamline the procurement process and deliver value for money for the taxpayer.” In a thinly veiled threat he said: Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legal AidComments (0)


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