MOJ consultation on refocusing priority cases – take action now!

Take action on ‘Consultation Paper – Legal Aid: Refocusing on Priority Cases’

Tthe Ministry of Justice’s consultation paper “Legal Aid: Refocusing on Priority Cases” proposes potentially drastic changes to public law funding arrangements, as well as abandoning the funding of small damages claims and funded representation for prisoners’ complaints.

Amongst other things, the proposals for public law include removing devolved powers and restricting the funding of wider public interest cases and border line cases. Other proposals in the paper include the LSC seeking representations from opponents on whether funding should be granted and severely restricting legal aid for non-UK nationals who are not ‘resident’ in the UK.

If the proposals go ahead:

  • access to justice for those without the resources to pay privately could be severely restricted;
  • the accountability of public bodies could be diminished by the prevention or delay of legal challenges to their conduct.

Read Steve Cragg’s article in the Guardian here
Read Laura Janes’ letter to the Times here

Read YLAL’s summary of the proposals and our concerns here

The consultation deadline is 8th October 2009.

The full consultation and the VERY INTERESTING AND NOT TO BE IGNORED “draft” impact assessment are both available at:

The PLP’s useful paper on the dynamics of judicial review is available at:

Please respond to the consultation by the deadline of 8th October 2009 – if you do not have time to answer all the questions, register your concern by way of a letter. Please send us copies of your letters and responses so that we can use your brilliant ideas and objections in any co-ordinated campaigning we do.

Please don’t stop there! If you have made the effort to respond, send copies of it to your MP with a covering letter explaining why you feel strongly about the issue; send it to your professional body and their publications; if you have links with any campaigning organisations that have used the law as a tool for social change, make sure that they know about this.

To contact elected representatives, you can enter your postcode into

To contact Prospective Parliamentary Candidates for your area go to the following web sites: (most sites have an “in your area” option where you can enter your post code and find your MP/candidate quickly!




Liberal Democrat: