Legal Aid

The Government Should Abandon Its Unlawful Legal Aid Residence Test Plan

Anita Hurrell | Posted 03.10.2014 | UK Politics
Anita Hurrell

On 4 August 2014 a 'residence test' for legal aid was to be implemented by the government. If this policy had come into force, we would have had to ask that child to produce documentation to prove that she was a lawful resident in the UK... She may not have been able to do so, through no fault of her own.

Justice Delayed

Richard Bentwood | Posted 02.09.2014 | UK
Richard Bentwood

What should concern us all though, is a new class of injustice creeping into the system and one which not only can the Courts not deal with, but is one which is created by the Courts themselves. The problem is one of listing.

Residence Test for Legal Aid Will Deny Access to Justice

Sarah Teather | Posted 02.09.2014 | UK Politics
Sarah Teather

Some might think this doesn't matter. Some may point out that thousands of pieces of law are made is this way every year. However, very few, if any, pieces of secondary legislation will have such far reaching consequences as the residence test for civil legal aid.

It's Cameron Vs Cameron Round 2 As Court Gives PM Victory Over Barrister Brother

The Huffington Post UK | Jack Sommers | Posted 21.05.2014 | UK

David Cameron may have averted a major embarassment for his government which had been handed to him by none other than his barrister brother. Alexa...

The Government's Legal Aid Cuts Are Leaving Vulnerable People With Nowhere to Turn

Sadiq Khan | Posted 18.07.2014 | UK Politics
Sadiq Khan

Recently, the Government unveiled plans to shave a further £220million off criminal legal aid, generating considerable opposition from across the profession and in charities and campaign groups. Ministers have fought a clever guerrilla campaign. They've salami sliced bit by bit to mitigate the short-term impact of their plans. They successfully divided and ruled the legal profession. They've smeared legal aid lawyers as fat cats and made out legal aid is only used by unworthy criminals. Needless to say, the truth is rather different.

MPs Demand Investigation Into Prosecutions After Nigel Evans Case

The Huffington Post/PA | Posted 14.04.2014 | UK

A committee of MPs has called for an investigation into the way prosecutors handle high-profile cases involving alleged sex offences following the acq...

George Osborne 'A Winner' In My Sexual Offences Trial, Says Nigel Evans

Huffington Post UK | Posted 14.04.2014 | UK

Nigel Evans has described chancellor George Osborne as "a winner" from his sexual offences trial because he gets to keep the VAT the former deputy spe...

Sanity Restored After Woman Loses £1m Damages Claim After She Fell Over Wall Looking For 'Somewhere To Wee'

The Huffington Post UK/PA | Posted 11.04.2014 | UK

A woman who fell over a wall at a Roman site after looking for somewhere to "wee" after an evening's drinking has lost her £1 million damages action....

The Real Cause of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Louise Pennington | Posted 11.04.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Louise Pennington

As a radical feminist, I believe that women's bodily autonomy is sacrosanct. As an aunt to a beautiful nephew with FASD, I worry. And, I worry because cuts to health, social services, education and legal aid will increase the number of women and children trapped in violent homes.

Why Barristers Walked Out of Court

Dexter Dias QC | Posted 08.03.2014 | UK
Dexter Dias QC

For the first time in 800 years, lawyers have publicly protested by staging a half-day walkout. Why? The short answer is that barristers walked out of court this morning to prevent the government walking all over public justice.

Lawyers Stage Historic Mass Walkout Over Drastic Legal Aid Cuts

The Huffington Post UK | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK

Lawyers, ever careful with their language, are definitely not calling this a strike. But criminal courts across England and Wales face severe disru...

What Is Britain Tolerating?

Gabriel Webber | Posted 10.02.2014 | UK Politics
Gabriel Webber

Every time something goes wrong, every time there is an injustice, and we tolerate it, that is shaping our society, and in the worst way possible. When the state stops playing by the rules, we all have a duty to make it start again.

Liberal Democrats Told To Halt Changes To Legal Aid By Raft Of Celebrities And Campaigners

PA/Huffington Post UK | Posted 28.11.2013 | UK

Actress Emma Thompson, political scholar Noam Chomsky and the mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, have thrown thei...

Court Is Not the Only Option for Separating Couples - Greater Awareness of Dispute Resolution Is Urgently Needed

Lord Falconer | Posted 25.01.2014 | UK
Lord Falconer

We could all do with being a little better prepared for what options are open to us in the event that we face this prospect ourselves, but understandably, people don't enquire about divorce during a happy marriage. It's a responsibility that lies with all of us.

The Real Earnings of an Average Barrister

Richard Bentwood | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
Richard Bentwood

There has been much in the press recently regarding how much barristers can expect to receive from their criminal work - many figures of which I feel are totally misleading. The best way to illustrate this is with a personal example which shows that in the line of duty many barristers work for very little, or even nothing at all.

We Cannot Afford to Leave Legal Aid Immune From Budget Savings

Shailesh Vara | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
Shailesh Vara

I fully understand why some in the legal profession feel bruised or worry about how our reforms might affect them. However the government and the legal profession must work together to create a legal aid system that protects those who need it most whilst also commanding the confidence of taxpayers who fund it. Put simply, we want to ensure the limited money we have available for legal aid is concentrated on those cases where it is needed most. Our proposals would ensure a system sustainable and affordable for future generations, and it will remain one of the most generous in the world.

What Price Justice?

Isaac Shaffer | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK
Isaac Shaffer

Legal aid is there to make sure that people can get justice even when they do not have the financial means to pay for it. It is based on the principle that the law should apply to all (and protect all) equally.

We Do So Much for Free Already - How Can You Cut the Legal Industry Further?

Richard Bentwood | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Politics
Richard Bentwood

We are facing nothing less than an attempt by the Ministry of Justice to destroy the independent criminal bar. I doubt anyone still believes the MoJ will listen to the evidence, or engage with us unless compelled to do so. Work at our current rates is almost unsustainable - at the new rates survival is inconceivable.

Legal Aid: The Questions That Grayling Must Answer

Emily Thornberry | Posted 01.09.2013 | UK Politics
Emily Thornberry

Chris Grayling may have been forced into a humiliating climb-down on his plans to eliminate client choice from criminal legal aid, but don't jump for joy just yet. It's just one battle in a war on many fronts. Other aspects of his legal aid reforms are just as egregious and he shows no sign of backing down on them. Today, Grayling will be appearing before the Justice Select Committee for a grilling by a panel of MPs. Questions that MPs on the committee should ask him include...

Grayling Signals Rethink On Legal Aid Lawyer Choice

PA | Posted 01.07.2013 | UK

Justice secretary Chris Grayling has signalled in a letter to MPs that he is preparing to rework one of the most heavily-criticised aspects of his leg...

Open Letter to the Rt. Hon Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Justice

Sadiq Khan | Posted 26.08.2013 | UK Politics
Sadiq Khan

I am writing to ask that you revisit your proposals for legal aid, proposals which have generated considerable criticism from across the board... Labour fully supports making those can afford to pay their legal fees do so, and clawing back costs from wealthy criminals. Legal aid should be reserved for those most in need.

Legal Aid Reform Is Necessary

Lord McNally | Posted 25.06.2013 | UK Politics
Lord McNally

We can't escape the fact that legal aid is taxpayers' money. It's not free and certainly is not a bottomless pot. We need to get the best value from every penny spent and we have made progress already in delivering a more efficient, targeted legal aid system.

Children, Courts and an Unwanted Record

Vicki McLynn | Posted 10.08.2013 | UK Lifestyle
Vicki McLynn

The break up of every domestic relationship has consequences of one sort or another. Many adults find it possible to get over the distress and get on with the rest of their lives. The involvement of children, however, increases the potential for complications, as both parents try to do what they believe is right for the well-being of their sons or daughters.

Why Do the Media Act as a Mouthpiece for Vested Interests?

Dr James Hannam | Posted 11.08.2013 | UK Politics
Dr James Hannam

From the reporting, you might have thought this was just a group of public-spirited barristers taking a break from their highly paid jobs to protect the justice system. Maybe they were. But I can't help noticing that legal aid pays the fees of lawyers. Thus, any cuts to the budget come directly from their capacious wallets.

Dominic Grieve Should Back His Lawyers Against G4S Justice

Emily Thornberry | Posted 09.08.2013 | UK Politics
Emily Thornberry

Chris Grayling might not have a problem with G4S justice. He, Cameron, Osborne and the rest of them may well think that anyone who has reached the age of criminal responsibility without earning enough to hire their own silk is to be presumed a member of the criminal classes. But Dominic Grieve should know better.