YLAL News

Meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid

Wednesday 14th July at 4pm in Committee Room 12, Westminster. 'Legal Aid - what it means for your constituents'. Speakers include representatives from not for profit organisations, private practice and clients. All welcome.

The meeting will cover:-

- the importance of the service legal aid provides
- both crime and civil issues
- the effect of the latest round of contracts
- the effect of any future cuts on constituents and providers.

LSC training grants axed

YLAL is bitterly disappointed to learn that the LSC will no longer be providing sponsored training contracts.
The provision of these contracts went some way toward sustaining the flow of talented entrants into the legal aid sector, and making sure that legal aid work is not a closed door to applicants from poorer backgrounds.

Refugee & Migrant Justice facing closure - TAKE ACTION!

RMJ, a charity that provides free legal advice and representation to asylum seekers, is facing possible closure as a result of the system whereby legal aid payments are only made when stages are closed.  At RMJ this is on average 6 months after work is started and can take up to two years.

The possible closure of RMJ will effect 10,000 asylum seekers in the UK, who will be left without legal representation, and may be forced to return to persecution, torture, and the threat of death.  AT present, 900 of RMJ's clients are children.

Kat Craig and Adam Straw awarded young legal aid lawyers of the year 2010

YLAL is delighted that committee member Kat Craig was awarded the title young legal aid solicitor of the year at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards on 26th May 2010. Kat was praised for her fantasitc work representing families of the bereaved at inquests, as well as her tireless campaign work for YLAL and Haldane. In accepting the award Kat talked about the importance of solidarity amongst the profession and reminded us that as hard as our task in the legal aid world may seem, some lawyers in other jurisdictions risk their lives to do their work.

Ken Clarke in charge at the MOJ

Ken Clarke will be able to come to the MOJ with a fresh pair of eyes and an open mind. YLAL's main request will be for him to protect and safeguard access to justice and the best legal aid system in the world: This means letting good quality legal aid lawyers and firms get on with representing clients without constant interference.  As a barrister who reached the top of his profession, we hope he will promote the next generation of lawyers devoted to public service in the form of legal aid work.