YLAL is concerned that the government has decided to proceed with plans to cut criminal legal aid by a further 8.75%, introduce dual contracts for Duty and Own Client work and restrict the number of Duty contracts available to 527 without any further consultation with the profession, other than an email 48 hours before the cuts were announced, asking for information to be provided within 24 hours on the impact on firms of the initial 8.75% cut. This can in no way be seen to be a proper consultation.
YLAL now write a regular feature for Young Lawyer and Solicitor's Journal updating on government reforms to legal aid, and developments in the profession from a junior lawyer's perspective. See our recent articles here:
Blind pursuit of policy (damage called by LASPO) January 2017
Oliver Carter, co-chair of YLAL has been writing articles for online journal Legal Voice since 2014. His latest article was 'Labour lambasts government over access to justice 'crisis' following legal aid cuts,' November 2016
YLAL committee members Deena Blacking and Simao Paxi-Cato report back from the Legal Aid Practitioners Group conference for the online journal Legal Voice:
What is this all about?
The Government has announced a new consultation on cuts to criminal legal aid, specifically its plans to reduce the number of contracts that let firms do “duty solicitor” work. The Government wants to drop the number of contracts from the current figure of around 1,600 contracts to 525.
On 11 June we ran a seminar to update members on some of the key changes brought about under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) and the more recent changes put forth in the Government consultations, Transforming Legal Aid and Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps.
We are very grateful to our speakers:
Connor Johnson, Co-Chair of Young Legal Aid Lawyers and a barrister at Garden Court Chambers, who gave an introductory session to provide an overview of the changes.
On 30 April 2014 the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) - a cross-party parliamentary committee composed of MPs and peers - published its report on the totality of the Government’s judicial review changes, including those contained within the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2014. These are the regulations which brought into effect from 22 April 2014 the new payment regime for judicial review work under legal aid. You can read more about the changes here.