APPG meeting – 20 March

The next meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid will be held next Wednesday (20 March 2013) in Committee Room 9 at the House of Commons, from 4pm to 5.30pm. The subject of the meeting will be competitive tendering (BVT) for criminal legal aid contracts.

The Government has just announced that it plans to bring forward to April 2013 its consultation on introducing competitive tendering for criminal legal aid work. Will competition on price result in a reduction in quality? Will the process undermine provision in some of the country? How can the state’s power be matched by the defence community if tendering takes place?

To discuss these issues, the group will be joined by Dr Elizabeth Gibby, who is Deputy Director responsible for Legal Aid Policy at the Ministry of Justice, and a panel including Stephen Hockman QC (former Chair of the Bar Council), Joy Merriam (Chair of the Law Society’s Access to Justice Committee), Greg Powell (London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association), and Robin Murray (Vice-Chair of the Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association).

Please email if you plan to attend. It is recommended that attendees allow at least 15 minutes to get through security at Parliament, as it can be very busy.