YLAL News

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.

Legal aid for JR - take action

We are asking all members to contact their MPs in relation to the cuts to legal aid for judicial review contained in the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2014 (which come into force on 22 April 2014) as well as the wider changes to judicial review contained in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. Full details of the changes are set out below. A model email for you to personalise and send to your MP - including details of the action that they can take to halt the changes - can be found toward the bottom of this page.

Protest in the press

Thank you to all our members who supported the protest against legal aid cuts on 7 March. It is inspiring to see your passion to save vital legal services for the public. If we keep going we can still make a difference to Government plans. Please ask your family and friends to sign the petition - a simple action we can all take that shows this fight is not about lawyers. It is about preserving a justice system we should be proud of for the day we all might need it:

New SRA consultation

YLAL has responded to the new consultation of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, "Training for Tomorrow: Regulation Review". 

This consultation aims to remove unnecessary regulatory burdens and improve processes for the regulator. It is part of a wider package of reform for the SRA’s regulatory framework for legal education and training.

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