What is an All Party Parliamentary Group?
All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal, cross-party interest groups of MPs and Peers interested in a particular issue. APPGs do not have any power to make laws and are not funded by Parliament. There is a great number of APPGs, covering many and diverse fields such as health, education, transport, defence, finance, the media and sports.
The All-Party Group (APG) on Legal Aid was established in July 2009, and is co-sponsored by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG) and Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL). The APG brings together Members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons with the singular purpose to discuss issues relating to legal aid. The APG meets regularly when Parliament is sitting to discuss topics that are important in the legal aid sector and to hear from those that work within it.
The APG’s terms of reference are as follows:
“To promote parliamentary and public understanding of the importance of the role of publicly funded legal services as a pillar of the welfare state and in reducing inequalities in society. To scrutinize and influence any proposals for the reform of Legal Aid provision to ensure that access to justice for all members of society is preserved and improved.”
The APG acts as an important forum for discussion of all issues surrounding legal aid. It provides a point of contact between the Government, Parliament and all who have an interest in the legal aid sector: these include clients, lawyers, the wider public, professional bodies, practitioners’ groups, charities, campaign organisations, and many others. It constitutes a practical way of engaging with the on-going reform process through contact with Parliamentarians – both MPs and Lords – who have a direct influence on the outcome of that process.
Please note: as a registered All-Party Group, the APG on Legal Aid is permitted to make use of the Parliamentary crowned portcullis symbol. However, the House of Commons takes no responsibility for this website or any of its content.
From 3 May to 8 June 2017, All-Party Parliamentary Groups must not be active. Parliamentary rules prohibit groups from making public comment, holding events, undertaking research or issuing communications. While the House of Commons is dissolved, there are no Members of Parliament, and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Legal Aid has no status as an All-Party Parliamentary Group.
The Group will be reconstituted as soon as possible following the election, to continue its work to discuss issues relating to legal aid.