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.’

Full story

The Guardian, 29th July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Comments Off

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.’

Full story

The Guardian, 21st July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Comments Off

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

Comments Off

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.’

Full story

UK Constitutional Law Association, 17th July 2014

Source: www.ukconstitutionallaw.org/blog

 

Comments Off

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.’

Full story

NearlyLegal, 17th July 2014

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

Comments Off

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

Comments Off

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.’

Full story

Halsbury’s Law Exhchange, 15th July 2014

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

Comments Off

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

Comments Off

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.’

Full story

BBC News, 16th July 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Comments Off

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.’

Full story

BBC News, 16th July 2014

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Comments Off

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.’

Full story

UK Human Rights Blog, 15th July 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

Comments Off

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.’

Full story

UK Human Rights Blog, 15th July 2014

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

Comments Off

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.’

Full story

The Guardian, 15th July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Comments Off

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.’

Full story

The Bar Council, 12th July 2014

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

Comments Off

Barristers suffering post-LASPO, says survey – Litigation Futures

Posted July 14th, 2014 in barristers, fees, legal aid, news, remuneration by sally

‘More than half of barristers conducting civil litigation have seen their income fall since implementation of the Jackson reforms, Bar Council research has found.’

Full story

Litigation Futures, 14th July 2014

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Comments Off

Grayling agrees legal aid truce with barristers over complex fraud trials – The Guardian

Posted July 8th, 2014 in barristers, costs, fees, legal aid, Ministry of Justice, news, trials by tracey

‘Barristers and the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, have agreed a temporary truce in a dispute that threatened to halt all complex fraud trials. Amid taunts of a government climbdown, the Ministry of Justice has enforced a 30% cut in legal aid fees for what are known as Very High Cost Cases (VHCC) but agreed to make more generous payments at an earlier stage in court proceedings.’

Full story

The Guardian, 8th July 2014

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Comments Off

Practitioner bodies berate ‘face-saving’ bar deal – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted July 8th, 2014 in barristers, fees, legal aid, Ministry of Justice, news, solicitors by tracey

‘The “backroom” deal agreed by the Ministry of Justice to end the VHCC fee dispute with barristers has been sharply criticised for excluding solicitors who are the “backbone” of the system.’

Full story

Law Society’s Gazette, 8th July 2014

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Comments Off

New judicial review test “risks undermining rule of law”, peers warn – Litigation Futures

Posted July 7th, 2014 in bills, budgets, costs, judges, judicial review, legal aid, news, rule of law by sally

‘The government’s plan to introduce a stricter test on judicial review outcomes “risks undermining the rule of law”, the House of Lords constitution committee has warned.’

Full story

Litigation Futures, 7th July 2014

Source: www.litigationfutures.com

Comments Off

Prison law legal aid appeal granted – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted July 4th, 2014 in appeals, legal aid, news, parole, prisons by tracey

‘The fight by two charities against cuts to prison law legal aid will continue after the Court of Appeal granted permission to appeal the High Court’s rejection of the challenge.’

Full story

Law Society’s Gazette, 2nd July 2014

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Comments Off

Exceptional cases: High Court widens scope of LASPO and declares guidance unlawful – Legal Aid Handbook

‘The High Court recently gave judgement in Gudanaviciene & Ors v Director of Legal Aid Casework & Anor [2014] EWHC 1840 (Admin).’

Full story

Legal Aid Handbook, 1st July 2014

Source: www.legalaidhandbook.com

Comments Off