Legal aid ‘safety net’ mechanism still not working for many

Posted by - 24th May 2018

The ‘safety net’ enabling people to access legal aid who would otherwise be denied funding under the 2013 cuts was still failing despite an increase in successful applications, according to a legal charity. This article first appeared on the Justice Gap here. A report published yesterday on the exceptional case funding regime by the Public

Read More
Exterior of Avon and Bristol Law Centre

My Justice First Fellow: Ollie Persey

Posted by - 18th May 2018

Ollie Persey, 26, is a trainee barrister and Justice First Fellow at the Public Law Project (PLP), and a committee member of Young Legal Aid Lawyers. His fellowship includes helping with PLP’s litigation, policy and research work, in addition to pupillage. He is due to qualify in September 2019. You can read the others in

Read More
A place to call

Government denies existence of housing ‘advice deserts’

Posted by - 17th May 2018

Labour this week called on ministers to restore legal aid for housing as part of its review of the 2012 legal aid cuts. The Labour MP Ruth Cadbury secured the Westminster Hall debate. ‘Everyone should have the right to a safe and decent home,’  she said. ‘So I ask the government to take the opportunity presented

Read More
ministry of injustice

JusticeWatch: Something has gone wrong

Posted by - 11th May 2018

Rabbit in the headlights ‘Some of them just sit there like a rabbit in the headlights and haven’t got a clue what’s going on,’ said one judge in hitherto concealed research into the plight of unrepresented lawyers in the magistrates’ court. The MoJ had apparently buried a 36-page report containing ‘explosive testimony’ from judges and

Read More
Justice Alliance launch of Proof Magazine, the case for legal aid. Houses of Parliament, hosted by Richard Burgion MP. Westminster, London.

© Jess Hurd/

Bar promises to ‘escalate’ action after MPs vote down attempt to derail fee scheme

Posted by - 10th May 2018

A parliamentary attempt to derail the criminal legal aid reforms failed earlier this week. A motion proposed by the shadow justice minister Richard Burgon to scrap changes to the Advocates Graduated Fee Scheme was defeated by 300 votes to 252. The Criminal Bar Association responded with an immediate pledge to ‘escalate’ their action ‘in order to show that

Read More

The plight of the unrepresented defendant

Posted by - 10th May 2018

Buzzfeed, Transform Justice and others recently made a Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Justice to gain access to unpublished research about unrepresented defendants – read Penelope Gibbs on the Justice Gap here. While they were provided with a summary of the research, the MoJ originally denied that any further data (such as

Read More

JusticeWatch: The kindness of strangers

Posted by - 4th May 2018

The kindness of strangers (but  not the LAA) It was ‘shocking enough’ that access to justice was becoming increasingly dependent on ‘the kindness of strangers – aka crowdfunding’, noted Private Eye this week; but it was ‘even more alarming’ that the Legal Aid Agency was citing such public generosity as an excuse to withhold legal

Read More
LALY Awards 2016. Photo: Richard Gray

LALYs 2018 shortlist announced

Posted by - 2nd May 2018

The shortlist for this year’s LALYs has been announced. According to the Legal Aid Practitioners Group, a three public law solicitors who were behind some of last year’s most significant legal challenges have been selected as finalists for the 16th Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards. Pic from LALYs 2016. Harriet Wistrich, from Birnberg Peirce and

Read More