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YLAL Submission to the Independent Review of Administrative Law

On 31 July 2020, the Government established the Independent Review of Administrative Law (“the Review”), consisting of a panel of six practitioners and academics, and published its Terms of Reference (“the TOR”).

The Review is tasked with considering options for reform to the process of Judicial Review (“JR”). On 7 September 2020, it launched a call for evidence (“CFE”) on “how well or effectively judicial review balances the legitimate interest in citizens being able to challenge the lawfulness of executive action with the role of the executive in carrying on the business of government, both locally and centrally.”

YLAL has undertaken two evidence gathering exercises to inform our response for the Review:

a. On 23 September 2020, we hosted a virtual roundtable discussion about the Review with a panel of 11 junior public lawyers with more than 100 virtual attendees sharing their views (see Annex 1).

b. Between 29 September - 16 October 2020, YLAL conducted a survey of legal aid lawyers about how JR operates (see Annex 2).

In formulating our response, we have considered the priorities for the Review as set out in the TOR and the CFE. We have decided to focus on aspects of JR that our members have direct experience of to ensure that our response is evidence based.

Our members have extensive experience of how JR can secure relief for the most disadvantaged in society; the causes of unlawful decision-making that lead to JRs; and how to reform the rules on JR to improve access to justice. However, our members are less well placed to address issues of standing and justiciability as they rarely arise in a social welfare law practice.

As such, our response focuses on three areas:

a. The role of JR;

b. How to reduce the need for JR;

c. How JR should be reformed.

 

 

Quick, Dirty but Important: YLAL's Research into unmet legal need at Court


Concerned by anecdotal evidence from its members about increasing numbers of litigants in person struggling in the County and Magistrates’ courts, and frustrated by the lack of any research into the impact on clients of the first tranche of the most recent changes to legal aid, Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) has conducted its own study of court users.


YLAL Survey on Paralegals in legal aid: a growing and unhealthy dependency?

Paralegals are being exploited and underpaid, according to a survey of members conducted by Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL). Respondents also raised concerns about lack of training, poor working conditions, uncertain career progression and the implications of Lord Carter’s proposed pyramid model.

YLAL has called on the Law Society and the Legal Services Commission to take firm action to ensure that the sustainability of legal aid is not jeopardised as legal aid firms become more reliant on the use of paralegals to survive.

YLAL Survey on Paralegals in legal aid: a growing and unhealthy dependency?

Paralegals are being exploited and underpaid, according to a survey of members conducted by Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL). Respondents also raised concerns about lack of training, poor working conditions, uncertain career progression and the implications of Lord Carter’s proposed pyramid model.

YLAL has called on the Law Society and the Legal Services Commission to take firm action to ensure that the sustainability of legal aid is not jeopardised as legal aid firms become more reliant on the use of paralegals to survive.