"The principle that a person who is facing a life-changing judgment, and risks losing their freedom, has the right to have their case heard and judged by people representative of their community – of different ages, ethnicities and professional and educational backgrounds – is a fundamental aspect of the criminal justice system in England & Wales."
A new report by Young Legal Aid Lawyers (‘YLAL’), “A Sector at Breaking Point: Justice Denied for Victims of Trafficking”, confirms that there is a market failure in the asylum and immigration legal aid sector, with victims of trafficking often unable to access legally aided asylum and immigration advice and representation.
YLAL has engaged with the Ministry of Justice ('MoJ') Criminal Legal Aid Review ('CLAR') throughout the consultation process and has now responded to the consultation on the Accelerated Areas for criminal legal aid review.
You can read our response below.
On Wednesday 27 May 2020, YLAL South West hosted a virtual meeting on wellbeing during COVID-19. The meeting was chaired by Emma Trevett (YLAL committee member, paralegal at Irwin Mitchell LLP and volunteer at Bristol Law Centre). The meeting began by discussing the key findings from YLAL’s second COVID-19 report.
On 25 May 2020, Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) published its second report on the impact of COVID-19 on its members’ professional lives. This report considers survey responses collected between 2 May 2020 and 13 May 2020. We received 104 responses from those practitioners who would be eligible to be YLAL members. This report provides an update on YLAL’s previous COVID-19 report, which was published on 7 April 2020.
On 7 May 2020, YLAL Midlands held a virtual meeting on Immigration Detention and Refugee Rights During COVID-19.
We were delighted to be joined by Dr Chelvan from No 5 Chambers, Ali Bandegani from Garden Court Chambers and Philip Armitage of Duncan Lewis.
The meeting was organised by YLAL committee members, Malvika Jaganmohan and Sam Coe, and hosted by The 36 Group.
You can view it in full here.
This is YLAL’s response to the Civil Justice Council (‘CJC’) Rapid Consultation.
The CJC launched its consultation on 1 May 2020, against the backdrop of significant adaptations to the justice system and the format justice is delivered, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the statements from the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor that jury trials in some courts will resume as early as the 18 May, YLAL calls for the Ministry of Justice to guarantee that the safety of our members and other court users will not be put at compromised when jury trials resume.