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Statement: Report by UN Special Rapporteur

Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) welcomes the publication today (22 May 2019) of the final report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Philip Alston, following his visit to the United Kingdom in November 2018.

The UN Special Rapporteur rightly states that legal aid has been "dramatically reduced" in England and Wales since the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). The report notes that the number of cases funded by civil legal aid "declined by a staggering 82 per cent between 2010-11 and 2017-18".

Legal aid news: March 2019

Welcome to our update of the latest legal aid and access to justice news from March 2019.

Sir Henry Brooke essay prize: On 16 March, at the second “Young Lawyers Making Change” conference, which we hosted with the Legal Education Foundation and Public Law Project,  we launched the first Sir Henry Brooke Essay Prize.

Following his death in January 2018, the Sir Henry Brooke Essay Prize seeks to honour the legacy of Sir Henry Brooke, a former Court of Appeal judge who became a tireless campaigner on issues including access to justice during his retirement.

Statement on legal aid for Shamima Begum

Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) notes the media reports stating that legal aid funding will be granted to Shamima Begum, the Bethnal Green schoolgirl who travelled to Syria to join ISIS at the age of 15.

YLAL staunchly believes that public funding should be available to all those who cannot afford to pay for their own legal advice and representation. Access to justice is a fundamental human right, and a crucial component of the rule of law in our democratic society.

Sir Henry Brooke Essay Prize 2019

Following his death in January 2018, the Sir Henry Brooke Essay Prize seeks to honour the legacy of Sir Henry Brooke, a former Court of Appeal judge who became a tireless campaigner during retirement on issues including access to justice. His post-judicial renown owed much to his enthusiastic adoption of digital technology; many came to know of him through his blog and tweets.

Statement on LASPO review delay

Justice delayed is justice denied: YLAL expresses concern about LASPO review delay

Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) is disappointed at the continuing delay in the publication of the post-implementation review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) by the Ministry of Justice.

Statement on legal aid for criminal appeals

Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL) notes the on-going media coverage concerning the case of Jack Shepherd, and in particular the criticism of the way in which criminal appeals are funded. YLAL believes that legal aid should be available at all stages of the criminal justice system, including trial and appeal. Justice may only be done if individuals are properly represented throughout the process of criminal proceedings, including before appeal courts.