Residence test vote for MPs

A vote is scheduled on Wednesday 9 July between 11am and 2 pm in the House of Commons on the Government's proposed regulations to introduce a "residence test" to qualify for legal aid (the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Amendment of Schedule 1) Order 2014).

This follows a debate in committee on the regulations on 1 July that you can read here.

APPG Legal Aid report: JR reform

APPG on Legal Aid meets to discuss the reforms to judicial review: An “ideological” attack on the rights of ordinary people

by YLAL Member, Mary-Rachel McCabe

MPs were urged to halt ‘ideological’ cuts to judicial review at a breakfast meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Legal Aid on Tuesday 8 April.

HoL debate 30 June 2014

On Monday 30 June 2014, after 1430, the second reading of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill will take place in the House of Lords.

The Bill can be accessed here.

Commons debate on JR 17 June

On 17 June 2014 the House of Commons will debate parts of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill that relate to judicial review. The debate will start any time around 12.30 pm.

We are very concerned that this bill will create further barriers to access to justice and the important remedy of judicial review that helps hold the state accountable for unlawful acts.

JCHR JR report

On 30 April 2014 the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) - a cross-party parliamentary committee composed of MPs and peers - published its report on the totality of the Government’s judicial review changes, including those contained within the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2014. These are the regulations which brought into effect from 22 April 2014 the new payment regime for judicial review work under legal aid. You can read more about the changes here

Lords debate JR reforms - 7 May

On Wednesday 7 May the House of Lords will debate a regret motion tabled by Lord Pannick QC “to move that this House regrets that the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2014 make the duty of the Lord Chancellor to provide legal aid in judicial review cases dependent on the court granting permission to proceed. (SI 2014/607)”. 

You can read more about the Judicial Review payment reforms here.

Justice Select Committee - LASPO

The Justice Select Committee (JSC) has set up an inquiry into the impact of the changes brought about by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) from 1 April 2013. The JSC has asked for evidence on a number of different questions including the impact of the domestic violence gateway, the cuts to scope and the impact on the number of litigants in person. The questions are available to view via the JSC website here.

APPG - 8 April 2014

A breakfast meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid has been called for Tuesday 8 April 2014 at 8.30-10am in the Jubilee Room, House of Commons.  The meeting will focus on important changes to judicial review work due to come into force on 22 April 2014. 

The meeting will also host the inaugural screening of a short film by the Justice Alliance. The film highlights the negative impact the judicial review changes will have on clients. There will be time for discussion following the screening.

CBA deal

On 27 March 2014, the chair of the Criminal Bar Association (CBA), Nigel Lithman QC, announced that all current action including the “no returns policy” will be suspended to allow constructive engagement with the Government. In return the Ministry of Justice has agreed that forthcoming fee cuts affecting criminal barristers will be suspended until Summer 2015.

JR regulations need scrutiny

We have submitted concerns about new regulations on legal aid for judicial review to the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee. This is a select committee, set up to examine the policy merits of regulations and other statutory instruments.


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