YLAL Response to Labour Party’s 2019 National Policy Forum Consultation

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.

We are also clear: a sustainable criminal legal aid sector is fundamental to building and maintaining an effective criminal justice system. The consequences of long term cuts to criminal legal aid have been devastating. Not only from the perspective of defendants whose access to justice have been denied but also those working in the criminal legal aid sector.

YLAL is keen to engage with the Labour Party as it develops its criminal justice policy. YLAL implores the Labour Party to ensure that considerations about the effectiveness and the sustainability of the criminal legal aid scheme are at the heart of the Labour Party’s approach to the criminal justice system.

This consultation response was produced by YLAL’s committee with the assistance of YLAL members Megan Millar, Shirley Mitchell, Bridgette Ogboji, Faith Rowan and Violetta Stancheva.