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Why do we keep investing in failure?

Posted by - 16th January 2018

A few days ago at a police station my colleague overheard three police officers discuss a case. One asked why the other officers bothered to do any formal interviews. ‘Just encourage the suspect to sign off on a ‘contemp note’ and you do don’t have to bother with all that,’ he swaggered. My sharp-eared colleague

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JusticeWatch: Merry Xmas

Posted by - 22nd December 2017

Justice system going ‘flop-bot’ ‘Another day brings another terrifying near miscarriage of justice,’ blogged Matthew Scott (aka BarristerBlogger) about the Liam Allan case. The 22-year-old student was charged with 12 counts of rape and sexual assault but his trial collapsed after police were ordered to hand over phone records. The case was dropped after three

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Report reveals flaws in government’s modern slavery strategy

Posted by - 20th December 2017

A report from an independent evaluator of public spending has revealed that the government’s efforts to reduce modern slavery are falling short. Released last week, the National Audit Office’s report suggests that the modern slavery strategy is not sufficiently well defined, monitored or resourced. Although this is understandable for a campaign in its early stages,

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JusticeWatch: Is pro bono more than a sticking plaster?

Posted by - 24th November 2017

Unfit for purpose Not one person with a discrimination complaint was referred to see a legal aid lawyer in the last year, according to Emily Dugan for BuzzFeed News. She reported that new Ministry of Justice figures revealed the impact of 2013 LASPO cuts on people who could not afford a lawyer to bring discrimination

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A senior family judge is latest to speak out on legal aid

Posted by - 16th October 2017

Mr Justice Body shared his shame at hearing cases where parties are forced to represent themselves in court. Speaking at his retirement ceremony, Bodey who has sat in the Family Division of the High Court for almost 20 years, said he had seen a growing rise in the number of litigants in person, unequipped to

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‘Deep problems’ with some firms says LAA

Posted by - 9th October 2017

Compliance rates by legal aid firms have improved, but ‘deep problems’ remain with some, one of the Legal Aid Agency’s (LAA) top brass warned. John Sirodcar, head of contract management at the LAA said that compliance rates by legal aid firms had improved, evidenced by the fact that the number of contract notices issued last

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A cut too far: LASPO and the survivors of domestic violence

Posted by - 5th October 2017

The 2013 legal aid cuts left victims of domestic violence stranded in abusive relationships and need to be reformed. Estelle du Boulay, director of Rights of Women, explains why The Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 removed legal aid from private family law cases with one exception – domestic violence. Or so

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Tories hint at limited legal aid reform

Posted by - 3rd October 2017

Conservative MPs signalled their support for greater provision of legal aid to help people obtain early advice. Speaking at a fringe event organised by LawWorks during the Conservative party conference in Manchester, the solicitor general Robert Buckland indicated that aspects of the legal aid cuts introduced by the coalition government should be revisited. He accepted

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Harry Potter and the Ministry of Magic

Posted by - 29th September 2017

Sue James with more tales from the housing duty desk. You can read other articles by Sue in the series here Stepping through the doors of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), it was hard not to think of Harry Potter and the Ministry of Magic. There were no moving staircases, but nothing was as it

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Siobhan Taylor-Ward

This (young legal aid) life: Siobhan Taylor-Ward

Posted by - 22nd September 2017

It’s Monday morning. I’ve ensured the kids have safely gone to school then headed for physiotherapy, arriving at work at 9:30am.  This article is part of The (young legal aid) life series – you can read the other articles here Before I’ve taken my coat off my phone is ringing. It’s Cumbria Social Services calling about one of my

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