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Pro bono: More than a public good

Posted by - 26th May 2017

James Sandbach, director of policy and external affairs at LawWorks, responds to Jon Black’s piece ‘What’s so good about pro bono’ published last week on legal Voice. Sandbach argues that pro bono is not a misnomer or a gimmicky PR stunt, but something the professions should celebrate and promote. Jon is spot on to say

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JusticeWatch: the miserable state of criminal justice

Posted by - 26th May 2017

Manifestly wrong If you want to understand where ‘access to justice’ ranks alongside the big policy questions of the day as we approach June 8, I recommended a brief flick through the Conservative manifesto in an article for the New Law Journal. ‘It doesn’t,’ I argued. The words ‘legal aid’ were mentioned once and even then

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Thirteenth record year for legal walkers

Posted by - 25th May 2017

Lawyers took to the streets this week to raise funds for law centres and legal advice agencies across the capital. A record 12,000 walkers from 700 teams took part in the 10km walk, starting at the Royal Courts of Justice – and either going along the river or through Hyde Park – before finishing at

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YLAL debate: Access to justice after the election

Posted by - 24th May 2017

What do the next five years hold for legal aid? There is unlikely to be much focus on this subject during the general election campaign, but in an attempt to redress the balance, Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) held a pre-election debate on access to justice in London last week. Garden Court Chambers hosted Access

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There has never been a better time to commit crime

Posted by - 22nd May 2017

James Parry, a criminal solicitor at Liverpool firm Parry Welch Lacey and chairman of the Law Society’s criminal law committee, asks what has become of the criminal justice system In April those firms of solicitors who secured a contract to provide criminal legal aid allowed themselves a moment to celebrate their success. They were foolish

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Cybersecurity on a shoe-string

Posted by - 18th May 2017

Following last week’s NHS hack-attack, Tim Hill, technology policy adviser at the Law Society provides some practical advice for avoiding IT meltdown and where to look to for help Modern life seems to be in a never-ending race to catch then overtake science fiction. But as we trade our Star Trek-inspired flip phones for the

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Justice system threatened by ‘tsunami’ of sex cases

Posted by - 17th May 2017

Criminal barristers have warned of the consequences of a ‘tsunami’ of sex offence cases clogging up cash-strapped courts and called on the next government to take action and invest in the justice system. The Criminal Bar Association, which represents more than 4,000 criminal barristers, has said that without a significant boost in funding, the justice

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Young defendants should not be denied trial by jury

Posted by - 16th May 2017

A hybrid Crown and youth court would be the best way to ensure young defendants charged with serious offences receive a fair trial, delegates at the inaugural youth justice summit heard. At the conference, organised by the Youth Justice Legal Centre, practitioners disagreed on the most appropriate venue for trials involving defendants aged under 18 charged

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What’s so good about pro bono?

Posted by - 15th May 2017

The Bar Council and Law Society should not be promoting pro bono schemes, but lobbying government for a levy on City firms to fund legal aid, argues Jon Black of BSB solicitors Pro Bono translates as ‘public good’ – a misnomer if ever I saw one. The public could be forgiven for thinking it was an endorsement

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