YLAL Response to the Ministry of Justice’s “Review of Civil Legal Aid – Call for Evidence”.

On 21 February 2024, YLAL submitted our response to the Open Call for Evidence launched by the Ministry of Justice (‘MoJ’) on 19 January 2024 to gather information as part of its wider Review of Civil Legal Aid (‘RoCLA’), which commenced in January 2023. 

YLAL has, for 19 years, collated evidence addressing the decline of civil legal aid, the issues around access to justice, the hollowing out of the legal aid profession, and the increased barriers to becoming a legal aid lawyer. We have published reports, consultation responses, helped establish independent inquiries, and given evidence to Parliamentary select committees in our efforts to advocate for a genuinely sustainable legal aid system. 

We pay tribute to the years of work done by previous members of the YLAL committee. This submission draws on evidence we have prepared previously, of which the MoJ has been made well aware. We support the submissions of the many other practitioner-led organisations, who we work closely and in solidarity with. 

Finally, we would also like to acknowledge the work of current YLAL committee members who contributed to this submission: Maya Jordan Shah, Luisa Le Voguer, Myriam Naoual, Jacob Simmons, Thomas Thrower, Emma Trevett, Sunny Singh, Amanda Coldwell, Valeria Fernandez Soriano, Ava Hopkins, Jamie McGowan, Isaac Abraham.  

UPDATE: On 4 March 2024, the Review of Civil Legal Aid team announced that – in effect – the publication of the final findings of the Review were being pushed back to July 2024. We wrote to the ROCLA team in response to this announcement: