Welcome to our update of the latest legal aid and access to justice news from June 2019.
YLAL was invited to respond to the Labour Party’s '2019 National Policy Forum Consultation'. The purpose of the consultation is to seek 'views on how best to rebuild the criminal justice system so that at every stage effective action is taken to prevent further offending and provide real opportunities for rehabilitation'.
Many of the consultation questions are out of scope of YLAL's institutional expertise. However, YLAL has produced a response addressing the most relevant questions to our members.
On 20 June 2019, YLAL Midlands hosted an event on the law relating to refugees and migrants and the increasing difficulties that individuals face in seeking safety or a better life in the UK. We also began discussions on building networks between lawyers, charities and community groups to empower individuals seeking to exercise their rights.
YLAL submitted the following responses to the Ministry of Justice's survey on the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS):
Considering the scheme as a whole, are you able to give examples of what works well?
On 10 April 2019, Parliament held a debate on the availability of legal aid for bereaved families at inquests, particularly those in which State agents are legally represented. Attached to this page is a helpful summary of the issues raised during the debate . YLAL are grateful to volunteer Freya Oldaker for preparing this summary.
Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) welcomes the publication today (22 May 2019) of the final report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Philip Alston, following his visit to the United Kingdom in November 2018.
The UN Special Rapporteur rightly states that legal aid has been "dramatically reduced" in England and Wales since the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). The report notes that the number of cases funded by civil legal aid "declined by a staggering 82 per cent between 2010-11 and 2017-18".
On Thursday 9 May 2019, YLAL Midlands hosted an event on Brexit, Human Rights and Access to Justice at the Irwin Mitchell office in Birmingham.
YLAL co-chair Oliver Carter introduced the event and gave a presentation on key Brexit-related litigation, including the Miller, Wightman and Wilson cases, and the possible impact of leaving that leaving the European Union will have on human rights and access to justice in the UK. Ollie's slides are attached at the bottom of this page.
Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) notes the media reports stating that legal aid funding will be granted to Shamima Begum, the Bethnal Green schoolgirl who travelled to Syria to join ISIS at the age of 15.
YLAL staunchly believes that public funding should be available to all those who cannot afford to pay for their own legal advice and representation. Access to justice is a fundamental human right, and a crucial component of the rule of law in our democratic society.
Welcome to our update of the latest legal aid and access to justice news from January and February 2019.
LASPO Post-Implementation Review and Future Legal Aid Policy
In the Equality Impact Assessment accompanying the LASPO Bill, the Ministry of Justice set out its objectives for the proposed legislation as: