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Tag Archive | "lord mcnally"

Strange bedfellows

Lord McNally, the veteran justice minister who shepherded the government’s legal aid reforms through the House of Lords, has been replaced by Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes as justice minister.

In a surprise move the prime minister announced that Simon Hughes had been appointed minister of state at the Ministry of Justice following the resignation from government of Lord McNally on his appointment as chair of the Youth Justice Board. Read the full story

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

The protests go on

Last week hundreds of lawyers and support staff took to the streets of London and Manchester to protest against the planned legal aid cuts.

The rallies were organised by the Criminal Justice Alliance. This is a coalition of legal organisations, charities, community groups, grass roots and other campaigning groups, trade unions and individuals who are united in opposition to the government’s attack on legal aid and the criminal justice system. Read the full story

Posted in Legal AidComments (0)

LASPO implemented – or not?

From Monday a range of new criminal offences and sentences introduced in LASPO came into effect.

The new offences include a mandatory life sentence for people convicted of a second very serious sexual or violent offence, aggravated knife possession, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, measures to strengthen community sentences and tough new sentences for hate crime. Justice secretary Chris Grayling said: “Criminals should be in no doubt they will be punished for their crimes, with those who commit the most serious offences receiving the most severe sentences.” Read the full story

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

Legal Aid bill defeat number nine

The government’s controversial legal aid bill has suffered its ninth defeat in the House of Lords. The bill has now suffered more defeats in the Lords than either the health or welfare reform bills.

On Monday, the third day of Report, the government seemed to have hit on a strategy to reduce potential defeats by the simple expedient of not starting the debate until after six o’clock, a ploy bitterly objected to by the opponents. Read the full story

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

Clare’s Law?

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, which was midwife to the birth of Jane’s Law, might also lead to Clare’s Law.

Baroness Gale moved an amendment to the bill which would insert a new clause providing for ‘disclosure of information about convictions etc. of violent abusers to members of the public’. As with Jane’s Law, the amendment results from shocking events. Read the full story

Posted in Case Law, Civil Liberties, Criminal JusticeComments (0)

Jane’s Law

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 ITComments (0)

Government backs down on means testing at police stations

Tuesday was the fifth day of the line-by-line scrutiny of the Legal Aid bill in the Lords and it produced the first positive result for the opponents of the bill. The government announced that one of the most controversial elements of the bill – the means testing of suspects held in police stations – has been abandoned.

Former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald had just risen to propose an amendment to the much criticised clause 12 when, for the government, Lord McNally intervened. He said: “My Lords, if I may interrupt, this may ruin a few speeches but I think it will help if I say that Read the full story

Posted in Criminal Justice, Law UpdatesComments (0)

Committee day three in the Lords

The Lords continued their examination of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill on Monday, starting with Clause 8, which makes provisions about when civil legal services would be made available.

Amendment 21 was moved by Lord Beecham. He said that the bill sought to make legal aid provision a matter of exception rather than of course. Instead of listing only matters that would be eligible for legal aid, they exclude everything except Read the full story

Posted in Civil Law, Civil Liberties, Law UpdatesComments (0)

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill in the Lords

On Monday the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill came before the Lords for its second reading. In eight hours there were over fifty contributors to a high quality debate.

Part 2 (litigation funding and costs) and part 3 (sentencing and punishment of offenders) did not feature greatly in the exchanges, and were largely approved. Overwhelmingly the debate concerned part 1 of the bill – legal aid. And overwhelmingly the contributors opposed the government’s proposals. Read the full story

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

Calls for Evidence on contract law and data protection

A Call for Evidence is a consultation paper containing proposals for change and new policies, which invites the public to comment within a given time period. The Ministry of Justice has recently announced two such consultations on European Commission initiatives. Read the full story

Posted in Civil Law, Civil LibertiesComments (0)

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