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Cuts That Hurt: Amnesty report

Amnesty International say legal aid cuts have created two-tier justice that leaves the poorest and most vulnerable out in the cold, by Emma Fitzsimons

Amnesty International has released a blistering attack on the Government’s legal aid reforms, which has led to the creation of a two-tier justice system that is increasingly closed to the most vulnerable and those in need of protection.

LAPG Conference, 7 October

Legal aid lawyers from across the country gathered in Leeds on Friday 7 October for the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG) annual conference. After an introduction by LAPG co-chair Nicola Mackintosh QC, the keynote speech was delivered by Liberty director Martha Spurrier on ‘human rights and unifying values’. Martha spoke about the impact of legal aid cuts as well as the ongoing scandal of indefinite immigration detention.

Politeia Legal Aid Event

On 14 September 2016, instead of holding a regular monthly meeting in London, we decided to attend an event held by the think tank Politeia on 'Legal Aid: Its Role in an Effective Justice System', featuring the former Minister for Legal Aid, Shailesh Vara MP. YLAL member Henry Gaster-Evans attended the talk and kindly provided this report.

Open letter to Theresa May

Young Legal Aid Lawyers, Legal Aid Practitioners Group and Legal Action Group have sent an open letter to the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, welcoming her vision of "a country that works not for a privileged few but for every one of us" and calling on the government to review the impact of legal aid cuts on access to justice. The full letter is below:

__________

Dear Prime Minister

Legal aid news - May 2016

Exceptional Case Funding: on 20 May, the Court of Appeal overturned the judgment by the Administrative Court that the Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) scheme for civil legal aid is unlawful. The case was brought by Public Law Project on behalf of IS, a protected party by his litigation friend the Official Solicitor. Last year, the Administrative Court held that the ECF scheme is unlawful as it gives rise to an unacceptable risk that people will not be able to obtain legal aid where required by the European Convention on Human Rights or under EU law.