YLAL News

2016: Year in Review

2016 was quite a year in politics and current affairs. It was also a year with many significant developments in legal aid and access to justice, and we have rounded up all of the most important stories from our regular legal aid news updates throughout 2016.

January

SRA consultation response

On 9 January 2017, YLAL responded to the second consultation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) on its proposal to introduce a Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), intended to serve as a common professional assessment for all solicitors on the point of qualification. You can read our full response to the consultation below, and our response to the initial consultation on the SQE in March 2016 here.

Becoming a Legal Aid Lawyer

On Wednesday 9 November 2016, we held a careers event, 'Becoming a Legal Aid Lawyer', at London South Bank University. Young Legal Aid Lawyers co-chairs Oliver Carter and Rachel Francis presented an introduction to YLAL and a brief history of legal aid, from the Poor Prisoners Defence Act 1903, which introduced criminal legal aid for defendants in the higher criminal courts, to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 ('LASPO'), which wholly or partially removed a number of areas of law from the scope of legal aid.

Cuts That Hurt: Amnesty report

Amnesty International say legal aid cuts have created two-tier justice that leaves the poorest and most vulnerable out in the cold, by Emma Fitzsimons

Amnesty International has released a blistering attack on the Government’s legal aid reforms, which has led to the creation of a two-tier justice system that is increasingly closed to the most vulnerable and those in need of protection.

LAPG Conference, 7 October

Legal aid lawyers from across the country gathered in Leeds on Friday 7 October for the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG) annual conference. After an introduction by LAPG co-chair Nicola Mackintosh QC, the keynote speech was delivered by Liberty director Martha Spurrier on ‘human rights and unifying values’. Martha spoke about the impact of legal aid cuts as well as the ongoing scandal of indefinite immigration detention.