JusticeWatch: Justice on the cheap

Posted by - 25th November 2016

Second class citizens Solicitors representing relatives of the 21 people killed in the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings have claimed they are being ‘bounced into an agreement’ by the Government. The families had previously warned of a boycott of the inquest over the row about legal aid. Belfast-based KRW Law has been acting free of charge for

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JusticeWatch: Know your place

Posted by - 18th November 2016

Know your place Michael Gove might have been unceremoniously dumped having received his post-Brexit political comeuppance but he hasn’t gone away. In his Longford lecture this week, the former justice minister once again revealed his love of the Bar – and seeming indifference to solicitors (see here). Gove was making the case for representation in

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JusticeWatch: ‘Not a time for dignified silence’

Posted by - 11th November 2016

That time of year again National Pro Bono Week provided the annual opportunity to revisit some fairly well worn arguments. Pro bono ‘must never be viewed as a substitute for a properly funded legal aid system,’ said Robert Bourns, Law Society president. Such concerns can be  overstated – does anyone think the government gave two

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JusticeWatch: Enemies of the people

Posted by - 4th November 2016

‘Derry Irvine would have gone ballistic’ The legal world jumped to the defence of the judiciary this morning after the pro-Brexit press went apoplectic in the wake of the Article 50 ruling. In a short profile of the three judges who presided over the case, the MailOnline characterised them along the following lines: ‘One founded

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JusticeWatch: Conscious cruelty

Posted by - 28th October 2016

Plugging a hole The Law Society’s Gazette reported that the Legal Aid Agency was now ‘urgently trying to plug a hole’ in the provision of housing and debt advice in Cambridgeshire. ‘The latest invitation is the third the agency has issued in the past seven months, after access issues were identified in Kingston upon Hull and

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JusticeWatch: Speaking up for justice

Posted by - 21st October 2016

Dig deep The Howard League for Penal Reform and the Prisoners’ Advice Service are crowdfunding to cover the costs of a challenge to the legal aid cuts to prison law that have resulted in prisoners’ access to justice being severely curtailed. Pledge here. Since the cuts came into force, conditions in prisons have deteriorated sharply.

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JusticeWatch: Cuts that hurt

Posted by - 14th October 2016

Cuts that hurt There was lots of coverage for the Amnesty report on the impact of the legal aid cuts – see here for LV article. You can download the report – Cuts that Hurt: The impact of legal aid cuts on access to justice  – here. One consequence of LASPO has been that separating couples

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JusticeWatch: Let’s kill all the lawyers (again)

Posted by - 7th October 2016

Let’s kill all the lawyers (again) Theresa May got an easy round of applause from the party faithful when she laid into ‘activist, left-wing human rights lawyers’ (legal aid lawyers of a certain age might recall Jack Straw’s attack on BMW driving civil liberties lawyers). The offending quote in full: ‘Our excellent defence secretary Michael

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JusticeWatch: ‘Of course, we’ll put money in the legal aid budget…’

Posted by - 30th September 2016

Labour conference: ‘Of course, we’ll put money in the legal aid budget…’ News in from Liverpool, a future Labour government would ‘increase legal aid spending and abolish employment tribunal fees’, reported the Law Society’s Gazette. Apparently the shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon has had the commitment – ‘expected to cost between £15m and £20m a

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Homs, Syria, September 2013. Copyright: bwb-studio

JusticeWatch: Nobody, not even soldiers, should be above the law

Posted by - 23rd September 2016

Welcome to the Jungle ‘And so to the Gee Street Court House for my stint as duty solicitor, to represent any tenant without a lawyer in the undefended possession list,’ began Hackney Community Law Centre’s Nathaniel Mathews in his always excellent Frontline Hackney blog. As he explains on his site, he is ‘a third sector

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