‘Borderline’ civil cases no longer eligible for legal aid – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Legal aid will no longer be made available for cases with poor or borderline prospects of success that may have received funding, the government has said.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 25th June 2016

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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What to expect from the new criminal legal aid contracts – Legal Voice

Posted June 23rd, 2016 in advocacy, contracts, criminal justice, legal aid, news, solicitors by sally

‘Richard Miller explains what may be in store when the new criminal legal aid contracts come into force next year.’

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Legal Voice, 23rd June 2016

Source: www.legalvoice.org.uk

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MoJ seeks views on domestic violence legal aid – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted June 15th, 2016 in consultations, domestic violence, legal aid, news by sally

‘The Ministry of Justice has begun a review of legal aid in domestic violence cases as part of efforts to gather data, giving solicitors just over two weeks to share their views.’

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Law society’s Gazette, 15th June 2016

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Families separated for immigration purposes – UK Human Rights Blog

‘Last year 32,446 people subject to immigration control in the UK were detained by the government. Some had entered the country irregularly and were quickly removed. Others were detained pending removal or deportation. More than half of them were released back into the community, meaning that their detention had served no purpose.’

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UK Human Rights Blog, 13th June 2016

Source: www.ukhumanrightsblog.com

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Regina (S) v Director of Legal Aid Casework – WLR Daily

Posted June 3rd, 2016 in law reports, legal aid, litigants in person by sally

Regina (S) v Director of Legal Aid Casework [2016] EWCA Civ 464

‘The claimant, a Nigerian national who lacked capacity to engage in litigation, applied for exceptional case funding pursuant to section 10 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 to assist him in making representations to the Home Office to recognise his position in the United Kingdom. The Director of Legal Aid Casework refused his application but the claimant was subsequently granted funding after he successfully claimed judicial review of the refusal on the ground that the guidance issued by the Lord Chancellor and applied by the Director was unlawful. Notwithstanding that grant, the claimant’s remaining challenge to the manner in which the exceptional case funding scheme was operated, which raised important issues of wider application, proceeded effectively as a test case. The claimant’s case was that the operation of the scheme created an unacceptable risk that individuals would be unable to make an effective application under the scheme and would therefore suffer a breach of their Convention rights or European Union rights. The judge allowed the claim, holding that (i) the manner in which the exceptional case funding scheme was operated meant that in practice the safety net intended to be provided by section 10 to enable individuals who would not otherwise qualify for legal aid funding to present their cases effectively without obvious unfairness was not being provided and (ii) the requirement in regulations 5 and 43 of the Civil Legal Aid (Merits Criteria) Regulations 2013 that cases had to demonstrate an even or better than even prospect of success was unreasonable and the method of rating prospects of success was itself unsatisfactory. Accordingly he granted declarations that the exceptional case funding scheme, the 2013 Regulations and the guidance were unlawful.’

WLR Daily, 20th May 2016

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Court of Appeal says exceptional funding regime is lawful – Legal Aid Handbook

Posted June 3rd, 2016 in legal aid, litigants in person, news by sally

‘The Court of Appeal has given judgment in the case of Director of Legal Aid Casework and another v IS [2016] EWCA Civ 464, the Director’s appeal against the judgment of Collins J in the High Court that the exceptional funding regime was inherently unlawful.’

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Legal Aid Handbook, 3rd June 2016

Source: www.legalaidhandbook.com

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Digital legal services for low-income clients “close to tipping point” – Legal Futures

Posted June 3rd, 2016 in electronic filing, legal aid, legal services, news by sally

‘The digital delivery of legal services in England and Wales to people formerly entitled to legal aid could be at the cusp of a “tipping point”, according to Professor Roger Smith, the leading researcher into online law.’

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Legal Futures, 3rd June 2016

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

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Back to the drawing board: it’s time to rethink LASPO – Halsbury’s Law Exchange

Posted June 1st, 2016 in budgets, civil justice, legal aid, news, statute law revision by sally

‘Four years ago the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) received royal assent. In the following April cuts to legal aid were introduced that according to the government’s own estimates denied access to justice to over 300,000 people. Since the controversial legislation was approved by parliament there have been calls for it to be reviewed (see “Overdue review?”, Jon Robins, NLJ, 22 April 2016, p 7). In the Cabinet Office guide to making legislation it was recommended that a review should take place three to five years after the legislation received royal assent. So a review of LASPO should happen soon.’

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Halsbury’s Law Exchange, 25th May 2016

Source: www.halsburyslawexchange.co.uk

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Online Court will include “limited” legal costs to aid unbundled advice, says Briggs – Legal Futures

Posted May 25th, 2016 in budgets, civil justice, costs, courts, internet, legal aid, news by sally

‘The new Online Court will not ban lawyers and there will be “a very limited element of fixed costs” so litigants can get initial legal advice – but not the full “over-expensive” service, Lord Justice Briggs said yesterday.’

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Legal Futures, 24th May 2016

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

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BSB echoes Bar Council concerns on equality and access to justice – The Bar Council

‘The Chairman of the Bar Council, Chantal-Aimée Doerries QC has signalled agreement with the Bar Standards Board’s (BSB) concern for equality and diversity in the profession. As the independent regulator reported in its recently published Risk Outlook yesterday, the Bar Council also welcomed the focus on access to justice and on ensuring that consumers’ needs are properly met following the prolonged period of cuts to our system of justice.’

Full press release

The Bar Council, 18th May 2016

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

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Parents’ fight for justice after seven-year-old son dies in winter floods – The Guardian

Posted May 16th, 2016 in children, families, inquests, legal aid, litigants in person, news by sally

‘Zane Gbangbola’s parents believe he died of hydrogen cyanide poisoning but as his inquest nears, they feel let down by the system.’

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The Guardian, 16th May 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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MoJ rules out review of legal aid repayment interest – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted May 12th, 2016 in interest, legal aid, Ministry of Justice, news, repayment by sally

‘The Ministry of Justice has ruled out reviewing the 8% rate of interest it charges when legal aid has to be repaid – even though the Bank of England continues to hold UK interest rates at 0.5%.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 11th May 2016

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Hillsborough verdict sparks call to rebalance police and criminal justice system – The Guardian

‘A cross-party campaign for radical reform of the police and criminal justice system in light of the Hillsborough inquests verdict has been launched by the shadow home secretary, Andy Burnham.’

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The Guardian, 11th May 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Neuberger: ODR may become only route to justice for smaller claims – but Bar is looking for alternatives – Legal Futures

‘Online dispute resolution (ODR) could be the only way of ensuring access to justice in moderate-sized claims in future – but the Bar Council is trying to find an alternative that retains hearings, according to the president of the Supreme Court.’

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Legal Futures, 27th April 2016

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

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Asylum and immigration court fees set to rise by over 500% – The Guardian

‘Asylum and immigration tribunal fees are set to increase by more than 500% in order to help pay off the Ministry of Justice’s funding deficit.’

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The Guardian, 21st April 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Legal aid cuts have led to surge in DIY defence, says charity – The Guardian

‘Miscarriages of justice and long delays in the criminal justice system are becoming more common because a growing number of people are having to represent themselves in court, legal experts have warned.’
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The Guardian, 23rd April 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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MoJ plan for legal aid residence test thrown out by supreme court – The Guardian

Posted April 19th, 2016 in appeals, legal aid, Ministry of Justice, news, Supreme Court by sally

‘Government attempts to introduce a discriminatory residence test for anyone claiming legal aid have been summarily thrown out in a unanimous supreme court ruling.’

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The Guardian, 18th April 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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UK legal aid residence test to be challenged in supreme court – The Guardian

Posted April 18th, 2016 in appeals, budgets, immigration, legal aid, news, Supreme Court, time limits by sally

‘The government’s residence test that deprives those who have lived in the UK for less than 12 months of legal aid faces a major challenge at the supreme court.’

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The Guardian, 17th April 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Commission examining impact of legal aid cuts ‘to be wound up’ – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted April 15th, 2016 in budgets, legal aid, news by tracey

‘An independent commission set up to examine the impact of legal aid cuts and develop a strategy to help ensure access to justice is to be wound up because of a lack of funds.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 14th April 2016

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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The lawyer who takes the cases no one wants – The Guardian

Posted April 14th, 2016 in bills, deportation, detention, immigration, law firms, legal aid, news, solicitors by sally

‘It has never been easy to win as an immigration lawyer – but now the government is trying to make it impossible.’

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The Guardian, 14th April 2016

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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