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JusticeWatch: Conveyor belt justice

Posted by - 9th November 2018

Conveyor belt justice I spent a day at Stratford Housing Centre in east London shadowing Simon Mullings, the housing duty adviser as part of the new Justice in a Time of Austerity project supported by LegalVoice. The article ran in New Law Journal here. On a busy day Mullings can see as many as 20 people. ‘It can

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LASPO cuts a ‘false economy’, say MPs

Posted by - 9th November 2018

MPs called on ministers to restore funding for early legal advice as well as welfare advice as a matter of urgency. The Labour MP Andy Slaughter, who opened the three-hour long Westminster debate last week, claimed that the aim to reduce the legal aid budget under LASPO had been ‘overachieved’, whilst the reforms had ‘underachieved in every other

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Law Society calls plans to liberalise market ‘a serious mistake’

Posted by - 8th November 2018

The Legal Services Board has approved the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s controversial proposals to allow solicitors to freelance and offer paid-for legal services through any business as part of its ‘Looking to the Future’ reforms. The approval came in the face of opposition from the Law Society who called the decision ‘a serious error’. According to the

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JusticeWatch: Better late than never

Posted by - 2nd November 2018

Better late than never #1 Kicking off a Westminster Hall debate on legal aid yesterday, the Labour MP Andy Slaughter called on the government to ‘tackle the funding issue head on’. ‘No one is saying that all the cuts since 2010 will be reversed, or that the clock will be turned back, but if the

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Asylum seekers and access to justice

Posted by - 2nd November 2018

The right to fair trial should require the right to access legal representation (see Golder v UK ECHR 21 Feb 1975) and it could be argued that an inability to access legal representation because of restrictions on legal aid undermines this important right. Lauren Cooper on her new research into publicly funded asylum work. In

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Selling off our courts is like selling off the family silver

Posted by - 31st October 2018

My local court is closing for the third time. It’s hard not to take it personally. I don’t want it to close, as my work got transferred there just two years ago, when Hammersmith Court was shut. But the decision has been made. Meanwhile Hammersmith Court, newly built, still stands empty – now used for

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JusticeWatch: Justice Week

Posted by - 26th October 2018

Justice Week An ‘overwhelming majority’ of the public thinks that ‘justice’ is ‘as important as health or education’, according to a survey released ahead of the first Justice Week (the newly rebranded National Pro Bono week) which kicks off Monday. According to the survey of over 2,000 people, more than three-quarters agreed that justice was

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‘LASPO has failed’ says Bar

Posted by - 26th October 2018

The LASPO reforms have failed to meet its aims and created an ‘unfair and inefficient justice system’, argued the Bar Council this week. In new research on the impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, revealed that more than nine out of 10 (91%) respondents reported the number of individuals struggling to get

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Legal Aid Agency faces challenge over refusal to back rough sleepers

Posted by - 24th October 2018

The national provider of legal aid is to be taken to court over its refusal to help rough sleepers challenge local authorities’ use of power to curb anti-social behaviour. The challenge by the human rights group Liberty concerns local authorities’ use of public space protection orders (PSPOs) which criminalises activities that have a persistent and

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