Posted on 23 November 2012.
Government proposals to expand secret courts suffered a series of hefty defeats in the House of Lords last Wednesday, significantly narrowing the scope of the justice and security bill. This can have come as no surprise to the government. The opposition of human rights groups and many prominent lawyers, and parliament’s joint committee on human rights (JCHR), to secret trials and withholding evidence has been mounting. Read the full story
Posted in Criminal Justice
Posted on 27 April 2012.
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill bounced back to the House of Lords on Monday for consideration of Commons’ amendments. Members of the Lords voted eight times during the debate, and in scoreboard terms, the result for the government was played 8, won 4, lost 3, with one sort of score draw. Read the full story
Posted in Civil Law, Criminal Justice, Legal Aid
Posted on 30 March 2012.
Having already forced nine amendments during the report stage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders bill, peers inflicted further damage on the legislation at the third reading stage of the bill on Tuesday.
Baroness Grey-Thompson (Crossbench), the former paralympian, put down an amendment opposing government plans to save £6m a year by removing as many as 6,000 children from entitlement to legal support. She said: “If the Bill is left as it stands, legal aid for around 35,000 children every year will continue, but legal aid will not be available for around 6,000 children under 18 who would qualify if the current rules remained in place.” Read the full story
Posted in Civil Law, Civil Liberties, Criminal Justice, Law Updates, Legal Aid
Posted on 23 March 2012.
The House of Lords concluded report stage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill with three votes on Tuesday. The session on this fifth day went on until past midnight.
Lord Beecham (Labour) moved an amendment on referral fees. He said: “The amendment deals with the position of not-for-profit organisations. We are entirely at one with the Government in seeking to ban referral fees made to commercial organisations simply for the purpose of making profits. However, some organisations – be they charities or membership organisations – receive referral fees from firms of solicitors and perhaps from others…whose contributions help those organisations carry out their main purpose.” Read the full story
Posted in Civil Liberties, 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 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