Categorized | Criminal Justice, Legal Aid

The Response Hub

The Response Hub

When the MoJ announced that they were consulting on the reports undertaken by Otterburn Legal Consulting and KPMG they stated that the consultation, ‘Transforming Legal Aid: crime duty contracts’, would close on 15 October.

The Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association (CLSA) reviewed the timescale to see if it amounts to a contempt of the judicial review. Robin Murray said: “The Q and A format and style of the further consultation is totally inadequate and shows contempt for the court judgement. The CLSA are not intimidated…and will be offering guidance on responding soon.” That guidance has now been published.

The CLSA, “with friends and allies in the London Criminal Courts Association (LCCSA),” have developed a ‘Response Hub’ to safeguard the integrity of the MoJ process. They say that “the responses will, we hope, secure the victory that was won by the stunning court victory by the associations in the judicial review. It depends upon you. If you respond in numbers we shall prevail. The Associations won the JR so now you need to win the consultation by responding.”

They claim that “The MoJ’s position that they are not consulting on the principle of ‘Two Tier’ is simply untenable and will be blown away by you if you take the trouble to respond…We simply will not stand for this irrational position of the MoJ.”
They explain that the Response Hub is a place where contributors can respond and avoid the manipulation of the figures by those who wish to downplay the number of hostile responses. A summary of the benefits of using the site include:-

– You may respond to the consultation safely in the knowledge that it will be tracked for you.
– The Response Hub will automatically forward an email from you to the MoJ attaching a pdf format version of your response.
– The Response Hub also has collated all the relevant reports conveniently for you to read before answering the questionnaire.
– The CLSA also provide ‘Hints’ based upon our close study of the reports.
– The Hub will allow the CLSA to see the geographical flows of responses and enable them to canvass people who have not apparently yet responded. “We need you in your droves to add ‘weight’ to this fight.”
– It does the impossible and makes the serious business of responding simple and close to a straight forward and pleasurable experience.”

A final rallying call claims that “We have destroyed the MoJ in the JR. We delivered a win for the profession and showed that with courage and determination bullying Ministries can be forced to act fairly. Now it is up to you. Save access to justice and client choice. Almost a case of ‘respond or die’! Encourage all your colleagues, other solicitors, Counsel, employees and family and friends to respond individually. We did not choose to fight them. It was the MoJ who advanced to this battle field but once again we shall meet them and make them sorry they came.”

The full text of ‘CLSA Guide to Responding to the Transforming Legal Aid Crime Duty Contracts consultation’ can be found at:
http://www.clsa.co.uk/index.php?q=CLSA-Guide-to-Responding-to-the-Transforming-Legal-Aid-Crime-Duty-Contracts-consultation

Respond to the CLSA and LCCSA at: https://www.lccsa.org.uk/transforming-legal-aid-crime-duty-contracts-consultation/

This post was written by:

- who has written 462 posts on Upper Case – The Anya Legal Journal.

Mike Gribbin is a retired Civil Servant with wide experience, including the drafting and implementation of Parliamentary legislation and regulations. He is the editor of “Criminal Offences Handbook”, a uniquely comprehensive guide to more than one thousand ways to fall foul of UK criminal law. He is Editor of the Upper Case Legal Journal and has been writing blog posts for the past eight years.

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