January 2016 was a busy month in the legal aid world - here is our round-up of the latest legal aid news.
Criminal Legal Aid Contracts - An Update - January 2016
In October 2015, the Legal Aid Agency considered all the tenders that had been submitted for criminal legal aid duty contracts.
Legal Aid Mythbuster
We have produced a new and updated Legal Aid Mythbuster to correct common misconceptions and 'myths' about legal aid (which are often promoted by the government).
The Mythbuster addresses misleading spin about the cost of legal aid, the pay of legal aid lawyers, judicial review and comparisons between the legal aid system in England and Wales and other countries.
Law Care is a registered charity who provide support for the legal profession to cope with the demands of a legal career. More information can be found on their website here: http://www.lawcare.org.uk/
The Young Legal Aid Lawyers response to the Bar Standards Board Consultation on the Future of Training for the Bar: Academic, Vocational and Professional Stages of Training is available to download below.
Michael Gove scraps criminal courts charge - update by YLAL member Katie Tiley
The Justice Secretary Michael Gove announced last week that the controversial criminal courts charge, which has led to the resignations of dozens of magistrates, will be abolished from 24 December 2015.
The Court of Appeal ruled this week that the proposed residence test for civil legal aid is not unlawful, overturning the a judgment by the High Court last year that the secondary legislation implementing the test was ultra vires and unjustifiably discriminatory. The judgment is available here.
On Wednesday 11 November 2015, we hosted a special 'Introduction to Legal Aid' event at Garden Court Chambers in London. We were delighted to see a packed room of about 55 people, mostly students attending their first YLAL event or meeting. The PowerPoint presentation delivered at the event by our co-chairs, Ollie and Rachel, is attached below.
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:
All Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid – 22 October 2015
On 22 October 2015 there was a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Legal Aid, which this month focused on the outcome of the criminal legal aid tender and the impact of family legal aid cuts on victims of domestic abuse.