Reports

Crime legal aid cuts: your view

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.

Legal Aid Update: Training notes

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.

JCHR JR report

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

Lords debate JR reforms - 7 May

On Wednesday 7 May the House of Lords will debate a regret motion tabled by Lord Pannick QC “to move that this House regrets that the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2014 make the duty of the Lord Chancellor to provide legal aid in judicial review cases dependent on the court granting permission to proceed. (SI 2014/607)”. 

You can read more about the Judicial Review payment reforms here.

Justice Select Committee - LASPO

The Justice Select Committee (JSC) has set up an inquiry into the impact of the changes brought about by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) from 1 April 2013. The JSC has asked for evidence on a number of different questions including the impact of the domestic violence gateway, the cuts to scope and the impact on the number of litigants in person. The questions are available to view via the JSC website here.

New SRA consultation

YLAL has responded to the new consultation of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, "Training for Tomorrow: Regulation Review". 

This consultation aims to remove unnecessary regulatory burdens and improve processes for the regulator. It is part of a wider package of reform for the SRA’s regulatory framework for legal education and training.

Further cuts to judicial review

On 5 February 2014 the Government announced that it would be going ahead with a series of changes to restrict access to judicial review. The changes – which were originally proposed in the November 2013 consultation Judicial review: proposals for further reform – include further cuts to legal aid and amendments to the rules on costs which will make it more difficult for charities and NGOs to intervene in judicial review proceedings.