This document, prepared by Legal Aid Practitioners' Group, provides a summary of the three research reports presented to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid in March 2016.
Shortly after he was elected as leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn asked Lord Bach to carry out a comprehensive review of legal aid, considering civil, crime, family and social welfare law. Lord Bach will be assisted in carrying out the review by Karl Turner MP. The terms of the review are as follows:
Exceptional legal aid funding
On 30 April 2014 the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) - a cross-party parliamentary committee composed of MPs and peers - published its report on the totality of the Government’s judicial review changes, including those contained within the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2014. These are the regulations which brought into effect from 22 April 2014 the new payment regime for judicial review work under legal aid. You can read more about the changes here.
On Wednesday 7 May the House of Lords will debate a regret motion tabled by Lord Pannick QC “to move that this House regrets that the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2014 make the duty of the Lord Chancellor to provide legal aid in judicial review cases dependent on the court granting permission to proceed. (SI 2014/607)”.
You can read more about the Judicial Review payment reforms here.
On 5 February 2014 the Government announced that it would be going ahead with a series of changes to restrict access to judicial review. The changes – which were originally proposed in the November 2013 consultation Judicial review: proposals for further reform – include further cuts to legal aid and amendments to the rules on costs which will make it more difficult for charities and NGOs to intervene in judicial review proceedings.
YLAL has produced a one-page updating guide to show where we are now with the current round of proposed legal aid cuts. You can download the leaflet below. Please distribute amongst work colleagues and friends and send to your MP to let them know that the recent Government announcement does not go far enough to save UK justice.