YLAL News

Open letter to Theresa May

Young Legal Aid Lawyers, Legal Aid Practitioners Group and Legal Action Group have sent an open letter to the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, welcoming her vision of "a country that works not for a privileged few but for every one of us" and calling on the government to review the impact of legal aid cuts on access to justice. The full letter is below:

__________

Dear Prime Minister

Legal aid news - May 2016

Exceptional Case Funding: on 20 May, the Court of Appeal overturned the judgment by the Administrative Court that the Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) scheme for civil legal aid is unlawful. The case was brought by Public Law Project on behalf of IS, a protected party by his litigation friend the Official Solicitor. Last year, the Administrative Court held that the ECF scheme is unlawful as it gives rise to an unacceptable risk that people will not be able to obtain legal aid where required by the European Convention on Human Rights or under EU law.

Response to Bach Commission

This is Young Legal Aid Lawyers' submission to the call for written evidence by the Bach Commission on Access to Justice, which was set up by Lord Bach after he was asked by Jeremy Corbyn to carry out a comprehensive review of legal aid for the Labour Party, considering civil, crime, family and social welfare law.

The terms of the review are:

  1. To set out the principles that should be at the heart of the legal aid system.

  2. To develop a legal aid policy that is credible, principled and up to date.

SRA consultation response

YLAL has today (4 March 2016) responded to the consultation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) on a proposed Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), which would serve as a common professional assessment for all intending solicitors. The stated purpose of the SRA's introduction of a standardised assessment at the point of qualification is in order to "ensure consistent high standards of entry into the profession, providing confidence to the public and employers".

Legal aid news - February 2016

Domestic violence evidence criteria: the Court of Appeal ruled that the regulation setting out the evidence criteria for victims of domestic violence applying for legal aid was invalid, insofar as it required evidence of domestic violence within a 24 month period before the application for legal aid and does not cater for victims of financial abuse.