YLAL News

Christmas Party - 6th December, from 7pm, Garden Court Chambers - all welcome!

The party is a joint party with the HaldaneSociety of Socialist Lawyers
Minimum donation: £5
(includes a bottle of wine!)
Garden Court Chambers,
57–60 Lincoln's Inn Fields,
London WC2A 3LS.
Nearest tube: Holborn.
Thursday 6thDecember 7pm–11pm
Enjoy a night of music, comedy &politics

Download the flyer here

Two letters to Government….

From the beginning, YLAL have been trying to get legal aid on the main stream agenda. After all, Gordon has put social exclusion and the protection of the most vulnerable at the core of his values: isn’t legal aid all about that. We think so and have written to Gordon to say why: read our letter here.

LSC announces Training Contract Grants Scheme Awards 2007

On the 13th September 2007, the Legal Services Commission announced the list of firms that will be able to offer sponsored training contracts.  Those currently doing their LPC and who are awarded places will be able to get help with the costs of the LPC course.  The Commission stated that ‘training contract grants are awarded to solicitor and not for profit organisations who are committed to legal aid work and go towards helping train the next generation of legal aid lawyers.

criminal legal aid changes on hold until January ...

The LSC has today placed on hold all forthcoming "Carter" reforms in relation to criminal legal aid. In a recent judicial review lead by the Law Society it was held that contract changes that altered the "economic balance" of the new unified contract are not lawful.

Legal Aid Practitioners' Group Conference with YLAL sessions 19th October in Oxford

This year's full day LAPG conference will take place on 19th October at Macdonald Randolph Hotel, Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2LN....the line up looks great.  For students who would like to attend the 2 YLAL sessions in the afternoon, a limited number of free places will be available for students on a first come first served basis.

YLAL update...August 2007

Read here to find out the latest developments in the Legal Aid debate...

Young Legal Aid Lawyers appalled at Government’s response to the Constitutional Affairs Committeeï

Young Legal Aid Lawyers are shocked and disappointed that in spite of the Constitutional Affairs Committee’s warnings about the ‘breathtaking risk’ of implementing Lord Carter’s reforms, the Government’s response, published on Friday, flippantly dismisses these serious warnings.

While the Committee stressed the need for further research into the possible effect of the proposals on the supply of legal help to the most vulnerable, the impact these reforms may have on BME suppliers and the dangers of Best Value Tendering, the Government response has dismissed these worries out of hand, displaying a now familiar caviler attitude to the future of Legal Aid.

The lack of explanation for dismissing the Committee’s recommendations is appalling. The complacency of the Government in their attitude to specialist providers is truly breathtaking for a Government that purports to aim to help the vulnerable and socially excluded.

We welcome the response of the Chairman of the Constitutional Affairs Committee, Alan Beith MP who will be calling for a debate on the floor of the House of Commons on the issue as a matter of urgency. We would also urge all YLAL members to write to their Member of Parliament to ask them to press for a debate at the earliest possible opportunity.

Throughout this whole process YLAL has been calling on the Government to assess the impact of these reforms on those entering the profession. Yet again our submissions and those of many other practitioners go unheeded. On Friday the Government and Legal Services Commission produced at least four further consultations. With firms in disbelief at the lack of attention paid to previous consultations, is it any wonder that lawyers would rather be helping clients than attempting to respond to yet another consultation destined to be ignored?

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Young Legal Aid Lawyers was founded in 2005 to represent the views of students, barristers, solicitors and other lawyers entering or newly entered to the profession committed to legal aid: www.younglegalaidlawyers.org

Government responds to Constitutional Affairs Committee Report: Whitehall whitewash?

The Ministry of Justice has today responded to the Constitutional Affairs Committee highly critical report on the implementation of the changes to legal aid. Unfortunately, the government’s response, along with its press release, appears to focus on the narrow fact that the Committee accepted a move in principle to fixed fees. However, the Committee’s chairman Rt Hon Alan Beith MP, said:

“The Government still failed to recognise the fundamental flaws in its proposals for legal aid reform.

There is widespread concern at these proposals, not only in the legal profession, but also in the Not for Profit sector, which is reflected in the House of Commons.

I will be seeking to ensure that Parliament will debate these issues and the Government’s response as soon as possible.”

Read the Government press release here

Read the report in full here

Read the LAPG's press release

Let us know what you think by emailing us through the ‘contact us’ form on the web site!

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