Legal Aid

We need to do something about Legal Aid. The ECHR Article 6 guarantees funding for a defence in a trial; it seems the sea-lawyers in the MoJ feel that de-funding Judicial Reviews and civil cases is OK then. While benefit disputes and immigration are key areas, everyone should have the right to go to the Supreme Court. Here are my notes …

There have been three initiatives designed to reduce citizen’s access to justice undertaken since. In 2014, they removed large numbers of case types from access to judicial review. At some stage, they shagged the CAB funding, and recently they are looking to reduce the time period in which a JR can be presented, and throughout, they are cutting funding of courts leading to delay.

Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

In 2014, the infamous Chris Grayling, guided the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) through Parliament, this, removes financial support for most cases involving housing, welfare, medical negligence, employment, debt and immigration & removes financial support for most private family law cases, other than in situations involving domestic abuse allegations also meeting other qualifying criteria.

I have following links,

  1. Transforming legal aid: Government response , a MoJ press release on the 2014 ‘reforms’, the full text of the response hosted by the Criminal Bar Association.
  2. A statement by Alice Hardy of HJA, entitled, The real agenda behind the Independent Review of Administrative Law, she says, “The Government’s manifesto, and the way in which the call for evidence is phrased, make clear that the real concern that the Review seeks address is that judicial review can be uncomfortable for public bodies and to the government itself, because it opens them up to scrutiny and exposes unlawful decisions.”
  3. Cutting legal aid is an easy gimmick – this is part of a pattern, by Sadiq Kahn
  4. Ministry of Justice Consultation on Transforming Legal Aid Response of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) , the UNHCR’s response to the consultation
  5. The campaign against proposed legal aid cuts gains public support, from the Law Gazette, (2011)
  6. Campaigning for legal aid, notes of a play from the Legal Action Group (2015), who seeded the Justice for All campaign, who seem to have lost their domain, www.justice-for-all.org.uk
  7. David Lammy, from the Commons, on facebook 😖, a video
  8. Wikipedia on UK legal aid. & LASPO

Judicial Review

In 2020, they set up an Independent review into Judicial Review, here’s their report.

  1. https://www.jcwi.org.uk/our-response-to-the-independent-review-of-administrative-law, from the JCWI
  2. https://justice.org.uk/justice-submits-response-to-the-independent-review-of-administrative-law/
  3. A collection of responses to the Independent Review of Administrative Law (IRAL) by the UK Administrative Justice Institute (UKAJI)

Patel’s latest outrages

The Home Secretary, who has no jurisdiction over the issue has announced that in immigration tribunals where the result is a confirmed deportation, the lawyers will be pursued for any costs awarded against the plaintiff.

More

  1. Immigration reforms: courts could be required to consider wasted costs, from the Law Gaxette, more on Patel’s disgrace
  2. UN refugee agency hits out at Priti Patel’s plans for UK asylum overhaul, from the Guardian

And on Legal Aid

  1. GMB Policy 2019
  2. Legal aid can’t wait for a new government, says Lammy, in the Law Gazette

and on google

  1. google: home office wasted costs
  2. google: priti patel asylum lawyers costs site:theguardian.com
  3. lmgtfy: have any MPs made speeches on legal aid recently

Campaigning

There doesn’t seem to be so much.

  1. Protect Human Rights and Judicial Review Defend the Human Rights Act and access to justice aka humanrightsact.org.uk
  2. https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/
  3. https://www.criminalbar.com/

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