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YLAL Response to Labour Party’s 2019 National Policy Forum Consultation

YLAL was invited to respond to the Labour Party’s '2019 National Policy Forum Consultation'.  The purpose of the consultation is to seek 'views on how best to rebuild the criminal justice system so that at every stage effective action is taken to prevent further offending and provide real opportunities for rehabilitation'.

Many of the consultation questions are out of scope of YLAL's institutional expertise. However, YLAL has produced a response addressing the most relevant questions to our members.

We are also clear: a sustainable criminal legal aid sector is fundamental to building and maintaining an effective criminal justice system. The consequences of long term cuts to criminal legal aid have been devastating. Not only from the perspective of defendants whose access to justice have been denied but also those working in the criminal legal aid sector.

YLAL is keen to engage with the Labour Party as it develops its criminal justice policy. YLAL implores the Labour Party to ensure that considerations about the effectiveness and the sustainability of the criminal legal aid scheme are at the heart of the Labour Party’s approach to the criminal justice system.

This consultation response was produced by YLAL's committee with the assistance of YLAL members Megan Millar, Shirley Mitchell, Bridgette Ogboji, Faith Rowan and Violetta Stancheva.  

 

Response to AGFS consultation

On 12 October 2018, Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) responded to the Ministry of Justice consultation on 'Amending the Advocates' Graduated Fee Scheme'. Our full response to the consultation is below.

We told the government that whilst we welcome the much-needed injection of additional funding into the Advocates' Graduated Fee Scheme (AGFS), we wish to make it absolutely clear that it is not enough. It is not enough to address the crisis within criminal legal aid and, more broadly, the criminal justice system as a whole.

YLAL Response to LASPO Review

YLAL has submitted its response to the Ministry of Justice Post-Implementation Review of Part 1 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

YLAL's submission concludes by setting out our analysis of the impact of LASPO in comparison to the stated aims of the legislation, within which our key proposals for reform are summarised.

Discouraging unnecessary and adversarial litigation at public expense

YLAL Response: Legal Aid for Inquests

Many of YLAL's members work closely with organisations such as INQUEST, the charity that supports bereaved families. YLAL supports the following recommendations by INQUEST in relation to legal aid for inquests:

a. Automatic non-means tested funding should be provided to families for specialist legal representation immediately following a state-related death.

b. Legal aid should also include financial support for families, with reference to: travel and subsistence, overnight accommodation, and loss of earnings.

APPG on Legal Aid - 17.04.18

APPG on Legal Aid : Post-LASPO Litigation – Where are we now?

Panellists:

  • Olive Craig (Rights of Women on domestic violence evidence requirements)
  • Simon Creighton (Founding Partner, Bhatt Murphy on legal aid for prisoners)
  • Polly Brendon (Public Law Project on Exceptional Case Funding)
  • Jo Cecil (Garden Court Chambers and The Criminal Bar Association)
  • Matthew Shelly (Legal Aid Agency (MOJ), Deputy Director of Legal Aid and Court Fees Policy)

Summary: