Divisional Court strikes down irrational and unfairly made decision to cut criminal legal aid – Blackstone Chambers

Posted August 9th, 2018 in budgets, criminal justice, judicial review, legal aid, news, solicitors by sally

‘A Divisional Court comprising Lord Justice Leggatt And Mrs Justice Carr DBE has allowed a judicial review challenge brought by the Law Society to a decision made by the Lord Chancellor to introduce a 40% cut to the maximum number of pages of prosecution evidence (‘PPE’) that count for payment of criminal defence solicitors. The regulations that introduced the cut will be quashed (p.143 of the judgment).’

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Blackstone Chambers, 3rd August 2018

Source: www.blackstonechambers.com

Legal Aid Fee Cuts To Evidence Work Have Been Declared Unlawful – Rights Info

Posted August 6th, 2018 in budgets, evidence, law firms, legal aid, news, solicitors by sally

‘Government attempts to cut legal aid fees for solicitor evidence work have declared unlawful by the high court.’

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Rights Info, 3rd August 2018

Source: rightsinfo.org

Adopt inquisitorial criminal justice system in UK, charity urges – The Guardian

Posted August 3rd, 2018 in criminal justice, legal aid, news, reports by tracey

‘Toynbee Hall says it favours continental-style system because adversarial process is expensive and inefficient.’

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The Guardian, 2nd August 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

Access to justice in family courts ‘inadequate’, says outgoing head – The Guardian

Posted July 30th, 2018 in budgets, family courts, legal aid, litigants in person, news by sally

‘The outgoing head of the family courts in England and Wales has raised concerns about access to family courts and said help for litigants who had to represent themselves due to cuts to legal aid was “woefully inadequate”.’

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The Guardian, 27th July 2018

Source: www.theguardian.com

“Fragility” of criminal law firms threatening rights, MPs warn – Legal Futures

‘Fundamental rights to legal advice and representation for people accused of crimes are at risk, the justice select committee has warned, calling for a “comprehensive and independent” review of criminal legal aid.’

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Legal Futures, 26th July 2018

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Government seeks views on legal aid for inquests – Ministry of Justice

Posted July 19th, 2018 in consultations, inquests, legal aid, legal representation, press releases by tracey

‘Justice Minister Lucy Frazer today announced the launch of a call for evidence to consider the need for legal representation during inquests.’

Full press release

Ministry of Justice, 19th July 2018

Source: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice

Bar Council launches LASPO: 5 years on survey – The Bar Council

Posted July 19th, 2018 in barristers, consultations, legal aid, legislation, press releases, sentencing by tracey

‘The Government has now commenced a Post-Implementation Review of Part 1 of LASPO and subordinate legislation. As part of its response, the Bar Council is conducting another survey of the Family and Civil Bar. Your answers will form a central part of its submissions to Post-Implementation Review.’

Full press release

The Bar Council, 19th July 2018

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

Legal aid deserts: MPs and peers express ‘grave concerns’ – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Squeezing the legal aid budget has left vast numbers of people – including the most vulnerable – unable to assert their rights, the Law Society said today. In a report published today, Enforcing Human Rights, parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights reflects the Law Society’s concerns that large parts of England and Wales are becoming “legal aid deserts”, as solicitors are forced to withdraw from services because they can no longer afford to do the work.’

Full report

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Law Society's Gazette, 19th July 2018

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Government reinstates legal aid for child migrants in major U-turn – The Independent

Posted July 13th, 2018 in children, judicial review, legal aid, news, refugees by tracey

‘The government has bowed to pressure to reinstate legal aid for child migrants in a major U-turn after admitting unaccompanied minors in the UK may have been denied access to justice. Campaigners, who said that access to justice for these vulnerable individuals is an “absolute lifeline”, hailed the decision after a five-year legal challenge.’

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The Independent, 12th July 2018

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Pay defence practitioners earlier to improve disclosure – attorney general – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Redesigning the legal aid system to pay defence practitioners earlier in a case could help to tackle long-standing disclosure challenges, the attorney general has told MPs.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 9th July 2018

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Are ‘Thousands misusing abuse orders to get legal aid?’ – Transparency Project

‘Twitter commentators asked questions last week of a BBC headline:

Thousands misusing abuse orders to get legal aid, says parenting charity

And the ‘click-bait’ opening sentence of the story itself:

Families Need Fathers says parents are being encouraged by some solicitors to file for non-molestation orders – injunctions used in urgent abuse cases.’

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Transparency Project, 9th July 2018

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Government defeated over housing legal aid – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted June 25th, 2018 in housing, judicial review, legal aid, news by sally

‘The government’s legal aid reforms suffered a new blow today when a High Court judge quashed controversial changes in the way it procures duty contracts for housing. The court was ruling on a judicial review brought by the Law Centres Network (LCN), heard over two days last month.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 22nd June 2018

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Law Centres Network wins battle with MoJ over housing legal aid scheme changes – Local Government Lawyer

Posted June 25th, 2018 in housing, judicial review, law centres, legal aid, Ministry of Justice, news by sally

‘A High Court judge has quashed changes introduced by the Ministry of Justice to the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS), it has been reported.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 22nd June 2018

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Varying your child maintenance: it can pay dividends! – Family Law Week

Posted June 15th, 2018 in children, costs, family courts, financial provision, legal aid, news by tracey

‘Using a fictitious scenario Gwyn Evans, barrister, Tanfield Chambers highlights legal and practical issues relating to child maintenance.’

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Family Law Week, 14th June 2018

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

Bar Council statement on AGFS vote – The Bar council

Posted June 14th, 2018 in barristers, criminal justice, industrial action, legal aid, press releases by tracey

‘Statement from Andrew Walker QC, Chair of the Bar, and Richard Atkins QC, Chair-Elect of the Bar, on the criminal Bar’s vote on the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme (AGFS).’

Full press release

The Bar council, 12th June 2018

Source: www.barcouncil.org.uk

52:48 again – criminal barristers vote to accept government legal aid deal – Legal Futures

Posted June 13th, 2018 in barristers, criminal justice, fees, legal aid, news by sally

‘The criminal Bar has narrowly voted to accept the government’s offer of £15m additional funding for the advocates’ graduated fee scheme, a result described as “neither a defeat nor a victory”.’

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Legal Futures, 12th June 2018

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Bar Council chair says he would vote for government’s criminal legal aid deal – Legal Futures

Posted June 8th, 2018 in barristers, criminal justice, fees, legal aid, news by sally

‘The chairman of the Bar Council said yesterday that he would support the £15m deal being offered by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to end the action over criminal legal aid fees, as barristers began voting on whether to accept it.’

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Legal Futures, 8th June 2018

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Solicitor who attributed false legal aid claims to depression struck off – Legal Futures

Posted June 4th, 2018 in disciplinary procedures, fees, legal aid, news, solicitors by sally

‘A criminal defence solicitor has been struck off for dishonestly claiming £7,000 from the legal aid fund and falsifying documents to cover up his mistakes in double-booking advocates – at a time when he said he was suffering from severe depression which led him to drink and take un-prescribed drugs.’

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Legal Futures, 4th June 2018

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Barristers bring flexible courts into legal aid action – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Criminal barristers refusing to take on new legal aid work have asked the government to abandon plans to test new operating hours for courts, as heads of chambers prepare to discuss whether or not to accept the government’s surprise offer of investment last week.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 30th May 2018

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Gauke: criminal bar’s action to disrupt the courts is unacceptable – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted May 24th, 2018 in barristers, criminal justice, fees, industrial action, legal aid, news by tracey

‘A dispute between the government and the criminal bar over legal aid fees shows no signs of being resolved soon, after the lord chancellor said he was disappointed by the action being taken by advocates and declaring that any disruption to the courts is “unacceptable”‘.

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Law Society's Gazette, 24th May 2018

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk