Austerity and the prison – OUP Blog

Posted August 28th, 2015 in budgets, criminal justice, legal aid, news, prisons by sally

‘Greece is not alone in suffering from budget cuts arising from the era of austerity. In the UK, local councils, libraries, museums – all public services have been cut. Criminal Justice has not escaped this cost-cutting. The consequence has been fewer police officers on the streets, less money for legal aid lawyers, and closures of Magistrates courts. Prisons too have been hit; the government has reduced the amount it spends running correctional facilities. This has meant fewer programs and services for prisoners, more austere prisons as well as more work for fewer prison officers.’

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OUP Blog, 28th August 2015

Source: www.blog.oup.com

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Departing forensic specialist highlights legal aid plight – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted August 26th, 2015 in budgets, forensic science, legal aid, news by sally

‘A forensic science specialist has paid tribute to solicitors working with a ‘decimated’ legal aid budget after announcing an exit from the UK market.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 25th August 2015

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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“Fundamentally decent” partner broke rules to keep firm afloat while waiting for legal aid payments – Legal Futures

Posted August 26th, 2015 in client accounts, disciplinary procedures, legal aid, news, solicitors by sally

‘A former president of Bolton Law Society, described by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) as a “fundamentally decent man”, made 61 improper transfers from client account and used a personal credit card to keep his firm afloat.’

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Legal Futures, 26th August 2015

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

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Crippling court costs force poverty-stricken people to ‘plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit’ – The Independent

Posted August 24th, 2015 in budgets, costs, guilty pleas, legal aid, litigants in person, magistrates, news by sally

‘Poverty-stricken people are being encouraged to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit out of fear they will face crippling costs imposed by new financial penalties, leading lawyers, magistrates and campaigners have warned.’

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The Independent, 21st August 2015

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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This judgment could shake up how personal injury solicitors operate – The Guardian

‘A claim brought on behalf of two children hurt in an accident has thrown doubt on the use of success fees, and on the unintended consequences of scrapping legal aid in such cases.’

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The Guardian, 21st August 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Williams v Law Society of England and Wales – WLR Daily

Williams v Law Society of England and Wales [2015] EWHC 2302 (Ch); [2015] WLR (D) 360

‘Where an intervention took place into a solicitor’s practice and a resolution was made under paragraph 6 of Schedule 1 to the Solicitors Act 1974 for the vesting of moneys in connection with the solicitors current or former practice, it was moneys connected with that solicitor’s activities as a solicitor which vested in the Society.’

WLR Daily, 30th July 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Denying prisoners legal aid may be illegal, appeal court rules – The Guardian

Posted July 29th, 2015 in criminal justice, legal aid, news, prisons by sally

‘Denying prisoners in England and Wales legal aid so they can effectively challenge the conditions under which they are held could be illegal, the court of appeal has ruled.’

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The Guardian, 28th July 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Article 2 inquests – are they becoming more common for grieving families? – Park Square Barristers

Posted July 28th, 2015 in families, human rights, inquests, legal aid, news by sally

‘It seems that every time I watch the news or read a newspaper there is some report following an Article 2 style inquest. If Article 2 style inquests are becoming more common, is the ambit of the inquisition broadening generally? Laura Addy questions whether this prospect is why the government attempted to limit access to legal aid for families involved in inquests and may be influencing the decision to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998. As a member of Park Square Barrister’s Regulatory and Public Law Team, Laura is often instructed to attend and represent families at inquests. She considers the importance of coroner’s inquest and the role of the family of the deceased.’

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Park Square Barristers, 15th July 2015

Source: www.parksquarebarristers.co.uk

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Court Cuts – London Review of Books

Posted July 24th, 2015 in legal aid, news by sally

‘In his first speech as lord chancellor, Michael Gove warned of a ‘dangerous inequality’ in the justice system. There was, he said, a ‘gold standard’ for the wealthy and a ‘creaking, outdated system’ for everyone else. This, from a minister in a government that has made enormous cuts to legal aid, is a little like Orestes asking for mercy on account of his being an orphan. Even so, his diagnosis is correct. What should be done? Gove suggested that rich lawyers should do more pro bono work. That is a bad idea. City solicitors are trained in transactions, not asylum and immigration; instead of donating an hour of their time, they should pay an hour’s wages to a legal charity. The more fundamental question is who should bear the cost of providing a legal system. Should lawyers, for example, contribute more than bankers, footballers or other wealthy individuals? I doubt it, though the argument has been made in the past. ‘There exists a moral obligation on the part of the profession,’ the second Lawrence Report said in 1925, ‘in return for the monopoly in the practice of law which it enjoys, to render gratuitous legal assistance to those members of the community who cannot afford to pay for such assistance.’ The grain of truth here is that monopoly providers can owe special obligations. What about victims of injustice? Should they pay higher taxes to fund the legal system? The idea seems absurd.’

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London Review of Books, 30th July 2015

Source: www.lrb.co.uk

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Education law in the news – Education Law Blog

Posted July 21st, 2015 in bills, education, legal aid, news, regulations, universities by tracey

‘There have been a few interesting education stories in the news recently.’

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Education Law Blog, 18th July 2015

Source: www.education11kbw.com

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Regina (Sanjari) v Crown Court at Birmingham – WLR Daily

Regina (Sanjari) v Crown Court at Birmingham: [2015] EWHC 2037 (Admin); [2015] WLR (D) 307

‘Judges of the Crown Court should subject applications to transfer representation under regulation 14 of the Criminal Legal Aid (Determinations by a Court and Choice of Representative) Regulations 2013 to rigorous and searching scrutiny.’

WLR Daily, 15th July 2015

Source: www.iclr.co.uk

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Firm ‘lacked high standards of conduct’ in client transfer bid – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted July 17th, 2015 in law firms, legal aid, legal representation, news, professional conduct by tracey

‘The lord chief justice has lambasted the largest legal aid firm in the country for a failed application to transfer a representation order for a convicted drug supplier.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 17th July 2015

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Legal aid safety net does not work, rules UK high court – The Guardian

Posted July 16th, 2015 in appeals, disabled persons, human rights, legal aid, news by tracey

‘The safety net to ensure that vulnerable claimants are provided with legal aid and access to justice does not work, the high court has ruled.’

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The Guardian, 15th July 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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Criminal Bar Association votes to take industrial action – BBC News

Posted July 16th, 2015 in barristers, industrial action, legal aid, news, solicitors by tracey

‘Criminal barristers in England and Wales have voted for industrial action to support solicitors taking action over government cuts to legal aid.’

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BBC News, 15th July 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Gove announces review of Legal Services Act – Legal Futures

‘There will a review of the Legal Services Act 2007 during this Parliament, the Lord Chancellor Michael Gove announced today.’

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Legal Futures, 15th July 2015

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

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No damage caused by civil legal aid reforms, says defiant MoJ – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Cuts to civil legal aid have reduced the amount of “unnecessary and adversarial” litigation while ensuring funding is targeted at those who need it most, the government has said in response to a devastating report on changes to civil legal aid.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 14th July 2015

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Gove promises action on criminal referral fees – Law Society’s Gazette

‘The lord chancellor is to crack down on the banned practice of referral fees in criminal proceedings.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 9th July 2015

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Legal aid restrictions for domestic abuse loosened – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted July 9th, 2015 in domestic violence, evidence, legal aid, news, regulations, trials, victims by sally

‘The government has loosened a controversial restriction preventing some victims of domestic abuse from accessing legal aid.’

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Law Society’s Gazette, 8th July 2015

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

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Legal Aid boycott ‘causing chaos’ – BBC News

‘Lawyers who are boycotting legal aid work in protest against cuts say their action is causing “chaos” in some courts and police custody suites.’

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BBC News, 8th July 2015

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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Legal aid restrictions delaying prisoners’ rehabilitation, court told – The Guardian

Posted July 8th, 2015 in legal aid, news, parole, prisons, rehabilitation by sally

‘Thousands of prisoners are being prevented from starting rehabilitation because they are denied legal aid for parole board hearings, the court of appeal has been told.’

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The Guardian, 7th July 2015

Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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