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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Extended court sitting pilot postponed

Posted by - 21st September 2017

The government has suspended the pilots of the controversial court sitting proposals until next year. The chief executive on HM Courts and Tribunals Service, Susan Acland-Hood, told practitioners through the second of her series of online blogs, which she began this week.  The six-month pilots, which were due to begin at Blackfriars Crown Court, Brentford

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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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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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Justice Alliance/Justice Gap  PROOF MAGAZINE  
Roundtable Discussion – “Be Afraid Without Legal Aid”

Be afraid without legal aid

Posted by - 12th September 2017

Proof magazine: Be afraid without legal aid Earlier this year the Justice Alliance hosted a roundtable discussion with access to justice warriors, thinkers and doers to talk about why we need legal aid now more than ever. Report by Will Bordell and photos by Jess Hurd The system of publicly funded law has often been

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JusticeWatch: Need legal aid? Google it

Posted by - 8th September 2017

Need legal aid? Google it The answer of Secretary of State for Justice, @DLidington, for those being denied access to justice through legal aid cuts? “Google it!” — Laura Pidcock MP (@LauraPidcockMP) September 5, 2017 ‘Overt discrimination’ in the justice system Prosecutions against some black and minority-ethnic suspects should be ‘deferred or dropped to

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