Bach Commission calls for ‘legally enforceable’ right to justice and eligibility to legal aid for half of all households

Posted by - 22nd September 2017

The Bach Commission has called for ‘a new legally enforceable right to justice’ and a widening in scope for the legal scheme to ‘fix the crisis in the justice system’ in its final report published today. The independent group, set up by the Labour party and backed  by the Fabian Society, has heard from more than 100

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Landscape colour photo of a pair of red and white striped deckchairs on a stoney beach

Beside the seaside: Are justice issues making a comeback?

Posted by - 21st September 2017

In the first of series of three round-ups on how high legal aid and access to justice issues are on the party conference agendas, James Sandbach, director of policy and external affairs at LawWorks, kicks off with a view from the Liberal Democrat pow wow in Bournemouth This year’s party conferences take place in a

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‘I don’t think we’ve listened enough,’ says head of courts

Posted by - 20th September 2017

The head of the court service has promised to consult more widely about the court reform programme. ‘I don’t think we’ve listened enough, or given enough ways for people who care about the system and how it works to help shape its improvement,’ wrote HMCTS chief executive Susan Acland-Hood yesterday in the first of a

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A fifth of firms have quit legal aid in the last five years

Posted by - 19th September 2017

The number of legal aid providers has fallen by 20% in the last years, government statistics have revealed. The figures, published by justice minister Sam Gyimah in response to a parliamentary written question from his Labour shadow, Gloria De Piero, show that the number of legal aid firms fell from 2,991 to 2,393 between 2012

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The invisible

Proof magazine: Making a drama out of a crisis

Posted by - 15th September 2017

Christabel McCooey and Jon Robins talk to artists about taking on the legal aid cuts in an article for Proof magazine ‘The men they came. Mild they were. Not thugs with baseball bats but holding clipboards processing the poor.’ These words come from ‘Shaun’, a character in Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s play, The Invisible, before he sets himself

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JusticeWatch: Getting away with it

Posted by - 15th September 2017

‘Clinical and legalistic’ Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s opening statement in the Grenfell Inquiry and ‘its predominantly legalistic tone‘ failed to reassure survivors, reported Owen Bowcott in the Guardian. Apparently, his 45-minute speech ‘even detailed the font size to be used in written “skeleton” arguments’. Apparently the retired high court judge had said before that he would not

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It’s not the lawyers. It’s the system

Posted by - 14th September 2017

A criminal solicitor responds to the observation in David Lammy’s review of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) representation in the criminal justice system (here), that BAME suspects lack trust in legal aid solicitors, seeing them as part of the system that discriminates against them. Jon Black, of BSB Solicitors and former president of the

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Grenfell Tower

Judicial review over Grenfell Tower Inquiry team refused

Posted by - 13th September 2017

The High Court has refused a legal challenge over the make-up of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry team less than 24 hours after it was lodged. A group of ethnic minority lawyers, BMELawyers4Grenfell, yesterday lodged an emergency application for judicial review, challenging the prime minister’s failure to appoint an ethnically diverse panel of advisors and the

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The decline and fall (and potential resurgence) of the Rechtwijzer

Posted by - 12th September 2017

As the Ministry of Justice looks to create an online court, Roger Smith considers the failure of the Dutch internet dispute resolution platform, that was held up internationally as the solution for cutting the cost of legal advice and increasing access to justice. The Rechtwijzer is probably the only recent overseas innovation in legal services

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