Lawyers critical of free mediation scheme – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted August 22nd, 2014 in budgets, dispute resolution, divorce, legal aid, news, solicitors by tracey

‘The government’s scheme to fund a free mediation session for separating couples will do little to increase the number of people resolving disputes out of court, lawyers have claimed.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 21st August 2014

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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More free mediation sessions for separating couples – Ministry of Justice

Posted August 21st, 2014 in arbitration, divorce, legal aid, press releases by tracey

‘Couples should avoid confrontational courtroom battles and use mediation as more free sessions will be funded by Government, Family Justice Minister Simon Hughes has announced.’

Full press release

Ministry of Justice, 20th August 2014

Source: www.justice.gov.uk

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Q v Q; In re B (A Child); In re C (A Child) – WLR Daily

Posted August 12th, 2014 in appeals, children, law reports, legal aid by sally

Q v Q; In re B (A Child); In re C (A Child) [2014] EWFC 31; [2014] WLR (D) 372

‘Since public funding was not in general available for private law children cases, in some circumstances the court could properly direct that the cost of certain activities should be borne by Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (“HMCTS” ), although it was to be emphasised that, the provision of interpreters and translators apart, that was an order of last resort. No such order should be made except by, or having first consulted, a High Court judge or a designated family judge.’

WLR Daily, 6th August 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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President of Family Division suggests courts should cover costs where legal aid cuts may impact access to justice – The World of Family Law (Garden Court Chambers)

‘Rachael Rowley-Fox explores the suggestion made by Sir James Munby, the President of the Family Division, that courts should spend money to ensure that justice is done in the wake of the legal aid cuts.’

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The World of Family Law (Garden Court Chambers), 8th August 2014

Source: www.gcfamily.wordpress.com

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Top judge authorises court to cover legal aid in challenge to government – The Guardian

‘One of the most senior judges in England and Wales has thrown down a direct challenge to the government over legal aid by suggesting courts spend money in defiance of Ministry of Justice cuts to ensure justice is done.’

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The Guardian, 6th August 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Legal aid cuts: In the new landscape, it’s the lawyers who could now suffer – The Independent

Posted August 4th, 2014 in barristers, budgets, fees, legal aid, legal profession, news, solicitors by sally

‘Public access work allows barristers to bypass solicitors to gain clients on fixed fees agreed in advance.’

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The Independent, 3rd August 2014

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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Legal aid cuts have left family courts ‘at breaking point’ – The Guardian

‘The family courts system is at breaking point due to delays caused by unrepresented litigants and overstretched judges, according to the body that represents lawyers and professionals in divorce hearings.’

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The Guardian, 29th July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Solicitors will close if fee cuts not delayed, warns Law Society chief – The Guardian

Posted July 21st, 2014 in budgets, criminal justice, fees, law firms, legal aid, news by sally

‘Hundreds of solicitors’ firms will close if the Ministry of Justice does not postpone fee cuts and delay changes to criminal legal aid contracts, the new president of the Law Society has warned.’

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The Guardian, 21st July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Regina (Sandiford) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs – WLR Daily

Regina (Sandiford) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; [2014] UKSC 44; [2014] WLR (D) 315

‘The policy of the Foreign Secretary to refuse to provide funding for legal representation to United Kingdom nationals who were facing the death penalty abroad was lawful.’

WLR Daily, 16th july 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Natasha Simonsen:Government cannot use a ‘statutory back door’ to implement major changes to legal aid services, Divisional Court says – UK Constitutional Law Association

Posted July 17th, 2014 in human rights, legal aid, news, ultra vires by tracey

‘In a judgment released yesterday a Divisional Court unanimously struck down the government’s attempt to introduce a residence test for eligibility for legal aid, finding it incompatible with the objective of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (“LASPO”). The ratio of the judgment was that the residence test had been introduced via an amendment to the schedule in the Act (that is, via subsidiary legislation) that was not compatible with the objective of the primary legislation. While that sounds like a rather technical decision, it has important ramifications for democratic accountability. It means, in essence, that if the government wants to make such a drastic change as this, it will need to do so via an amendment to the Act itself, with the full Parliamentary debate that that would entail. The case is also interesting because of the two rights-based grounds that were argued before it. The first, that the introduction of a residence requirement violated the fundamental right of access to a court, the court declined to engage with. The second was that residence was not a lawful ground for discriminating in the provision of legal aid between equally meritorious claims. The court accepted this claim, but apparently in obiter dicta, since only the statutory construction point was strictly required to reach the outcome.’

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UK Constitutional Law Association, 17th July 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

 

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My Left Shin – NearlyLegal

Posted July 17th, 2014 in appeals, human rights, legal aid, news, regulations, ultra vires by tracey

‘In years to come, we may all wonder what all the fuss was about, but Tuesday’s judgement in R (Public Law Project) v the Secretary of State for Justice has provided some relief and not a little amusement to legal aid practitioners girding themselves for yet another grim landmark in the legal aid story: the residence test.’

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NearlyLegal, 17th July 2014

Source: www.nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/

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Legal aid residence test held ‘discriminatory and unlawful’ – LegalVoice

Posted July 17th, 2014 in human rights, legal aid, news, ultra vires by tracey

‘The Administrative Court has declared that the proposed residence test for civil legal aid is discriminatory and unlawful, following a successful judicial review challenge against the Secretary of State for Justice. The case was brought by the Public Law Project, a national legal charity that promotes access to justice, on the basis that the residence test would, if implemented, violate fundamental constitutional rights guaranteed by the common law and the European Convention on Human Rights, as incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998.’

Full story

LegalVoice, 16th July 2014

Source: www.legalvoice.org.uk

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Impact of legal aid cuts on the Citizens Advice Bureau – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

Posted July 17th, 2014 in law centres, legal aid, news, universities by tracey

‘The cuts in legal aid for professional advice wrought by Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) may be seen to have increased the opportunities – and workload – for volunteers and charities. Indeed, there are reports that the government intends to fill the gap regarding divorce by setting up law centres run by students. However, the cuts, often portrayed as affecting “fat cat” lawyers, can harm charitable and volunteer services as can be seen through the example of Citizens Advice Bureaux up and down the country.’

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Halsbury’s Law Exhchange, 15th July 2014

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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Regina (Public Law Project) v Secretary of State for Justice (Office of the Children’s Commissioner intervening) – WLR Daily

Posted July 17th, 2014 in civil justice, law reports, legal aid, regulations, ultra vires by tracey

Regina (Public Law Project) v Secretary of State for Justice (Office of the Children’s Commissioner intervening); [2014] EWHC 2365 (Admin); [2014] WLR (D) 316

‘The proposed statutory instrument, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Amendment of Schedule 1) Order 2014, amending Schedule 1 to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 by introducing a residence test, was unlawful as it was ultra vires and discriminatory.’

WLR Daily, 15th July 2014

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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19,000 more parents in child cases with no lawyer – BBC News

‘More than 19,000 more parents appeared in civil courts with no lawyer in cases about children, in the year after legal aid cuts, it has emerged.’

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BBC News, 16th July 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Lindsay Sandiford case: Bali death row drugs trafficker review call – BBC News

‘The UK Supreme Court has called on the British government to review the case of a grandmother facing execution in Indonesia on drug charges.’

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BBC News, 16th July 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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The non-residents legal aid case – LC advised to go for the ball, not for his opponent’s shins – UK Human Rights Blog

Posted July 16th, 2014 in human rights, jurisdiction, legal aid, news, ultra vires by tracey

‘Public Law Project v Secretary of State for Justice [2014] EWHC 2365. Angela Patrick of JUSTICE has provided an excellent summary of this important ruling, which declared a proposed statutory instrument to be ultra vires the LASPO Act under which it was to have been made. The judgment is an interesting one, not least for some judicial fireworks in response to the Lord Chancellor’s recourse to the Daily Telegraph after the hearing, but before judgment was delivered.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 15th July 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Plan to stop non-residents getting Legal Aid is unlawful, rules High Court – UK Human Rights Blog

‘House of Lords is scheduled to vote on the Government’s proposals for a residence test for access to legal aid, Angela Patrick, Director of Human Rights Policy at JUSTICE considers today’s judgment of the Divisional Court in PLP v Secretary of State for Justice.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 15th July 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Legal aid residence test ‘discriminatory and unlawful’, high court rules – The Guardian

Posted July 15th, 2014 in appeals, civil justice, legal aid, news, regulations, ultra vires by tracey

‘The government’s attempt to introduce a residence test for legal aid has been struck down by the high court on the grounds that it is discriminatory and unlawful.’

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The Guardian, 15th July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Bar Council reveals preliminary findings of its impact of LASPO survey – The Bar Council

‘The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, has today presented its preliminary findings from a major survey conducted to assess the impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012.’

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The Bar Council, 12th July 2014

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

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