Magee review: YLAL response

The Ministry of Justice has announced yet another review of legal aid, the Magee review. See http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/newsrelease131009a.htm

YLAL includes both criminal and civil practitioners. We welcome any endeavour to protect both the civil and criminal budgets. But we continue to believe that there should be no cap. Rather, adequate access to justice for both those with civil and criminal legal problems must be available when needed and administered by a truly independent body.

We have written to the review and asked to be consulted. However, we are very concerned about the extremely short timescale and lack of indication as to how this review will be conducted, given its potential impact on the most vulnerable clients. We are also concerned that changes to the way in which the fund is administered do not have negative consequences for junior lawyers, particularly in terms of ensuring that sponsored training contracts and other mechanisms designed to ensure quality supervision and career progression for legal aid lawyers do not fall by the way side.