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COVID-19 and the Legal Aid sector (Monday, 20 July 2020)- Virtual Meeting

Tue, 28/07/2020 - 15:00

On the 20th July 2020 the APPG hosted its first virtual meeting. The meeting was the first opportunity for our members to discuss Covid-19’s impact since the beginning of lockdown and hear directly from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice on the Government’s approach to legal aid during the pandemic. We were incredibly pleased to welcome a large number of viewers, with over 100 Parliamentarians, practitioners and members of the public registering to attend the event.

We were joined by Alex Chalk MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice and ex- Vice Chair of the Group), Karl Turner MP (Shadow Minister for Legal Aid), Amanda Pinto QC (Chair of the Bar Council), Caroline Goodwin QC (Chair of the Criminal Bar Association), Richard Miller (Head of Justice at The Law Society), Chris Minnoch (CEO of LAPG) and Emma Trevett (on behalf of Young Legal Aid Lawyers). One legal commentator (who shall remain nameless) described the meeting as a masterclass in advocacy with a variety of different styles on display.

 The discussion centred on the Government’s response to the pandemic and the support offered for the legal aid sector. 



Justice in the new Parliamentary session - Monday 3 February 2020

Mon, 17/02/2020 - 21:45

All-Party Parliamentary Group Meeting, Monday, 3 February 2020 – Justice in the new Parliamentary Session

The APPG on Legal Aid met on Monday night in the Jubilee Room at the House of Commons for its first meeting in 2020. The event was held ahead of Justice Week (which runs from Monday 24-Fri 28 February) and was the first opportunity of the new parliamentary term for those with a responsibility for Justice, either in Parliament or via rep bodies, to come together.

Lord Falconer (Charlie Falconer QC) told a packed room that this is a crucial period for legal aid and the law.  He highlighted the fact that despite repeated claims by the current government that austerity is at an end, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, has written to ministers urging them to cut costs and refocus resources on Boris Johnson’s priorities of hospitals, schools and ‘levelling up’.  He added that sadly no-one is interested in the justice sector, and that Robert Buckland must make the case to the treasury for an improvement in the finances.

Conservative MP Bob Neill, who has been re-elected as chair of the House of Commons justice select committee, told the audience that politicians need to stand up to the Treasury in the face of further spending pressures – and that the justice select committee has now got to the stage where they are telling government that the legal aid cuts have gone too far.

Chris Minnoch, CEO of LAPG, rounded up the session with a rousing speech, recognising the critical importance of the Criminal Legal Aid Review, but imploring government to also address the issue of sustainability of the civil legal aid sector.


Sir Bob Neill MP (Chair of the Justice Committee from 2016)

Lord Charlie Falconer 

Baroness Natalie Bennett (on behalf of the Green Party)

Daisy Cooper MP (on behalf of the Liberal Democrats)

Fiona Rutherford (MoJ Director of Access to Justice Policy)

Bambos Charalambous MP (Labour Shadow Justice Team)

Amanda Pinto QC, Chair of The Bar Council

Simon Davis, President of The Law Society of England and Wales

Caroline Goodwin QC, Chair of the Criminal Bar Association

Chris Minnoch, CEO of LAPG

Faith Rowan on behalf of Young Legal Aid Lawyers

The full set of minutes can be found here.



Inaugural meeting - 15 January 2020

Wed, 29/01/2020 - 14:00

The APPG on Legal Aid held its inaugural meeting of the new session on 15 January 2020, re-establishing the group and re-electing Karen Buck MP as Chair. The following Vice-Chairs were elected unopposed:

Lord Willy Bach (who sent his apologies)

Lord Colin Low (who sent his apologies)

Lord Charlie Falconer (who sent his apologies)

Baroness Helena Kennedy (who sent her apologies)

Alex Chalk MP

Yvonne Fovargue MP (who sent her apologies)

Andy Slaughter MP

Jo Stevens MP

Kate Green MP

Ellie Reeves MP (who sent her apologies)

Bambos Charalambous MP

The Group has swelled its ranks considerably over the last few years and we have been delighted to welcome Lord Bach, Lord Low and Lord Falconer to our midst. We are actively seeking members from all political walks of life so please do get in touch with us if this would be something of interest to you or you have any ideas for future events that we might hold.

Minutes of the meeting can be read here.



Annual General Meeting - 17 October 2019

Fri, 18/10/2019 - 10:15

The Group held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 17 October 2019 in Room Q, Portcullis House. Ms Buck was re-elected as Chair for Group and the following officers were elected unoposed as Vice-Chairs:

Lord Willy Bach

Lord Colin Low

Baroness Helena Kennedy

Alex Chalk MP

Andy Slaughter MP

Yvonne Fovargue MP

Dominic Grieve MP

Jo Stevens MP

Kate Green MP

Ellie Reeves MP

Bambos Charalambous MP

Minutes of the meeting can be found here. 




Wed, 04/09/2019 - 10:45



LAPG's Manifesto for Legal Aid 2017

Mon, 19/08/2019 - 17:15

Government reforms to legal aid in April 2013 were a disaster for those who need to access the justice system to protect or enforce their rights.  Access to advice on family law, housing and homelessness, welfare benefits, employment, debt, judicial review, education, immigration…all decimated by the reforms. Hundreds of thousands of people have been unable to get advice each year as a direct result of the reforms.  Large areas of the country are now ‘advice deserts’ with very few or maybe even no lawyers able to provide specialist advice.

The LAPG Manifesto for Legal Aid (2nd ed. 2017) sets out a range of measures the government must take to ensure those who cannot afford to pay for advice can access still advice.

Download a copy here (October 2017 – PDF: 0.2MB) and speak to your local MP to help us reverse the cuts and restore legal aid – a fundamental right for all.




Mon, 19/08/2019 - 16:30

The Bar Pro Bono Unit has now been rebranded as Advocate. Please note that constituents may still be referred to Advocate even when the case is not eligible for legal aid. They may also be able to assist when the case is eligible for legal aid if: the individual can't afford the contributions, the legal aid has run out, or if there are no legal aid lawyers in the area. For further information please click here.



Disability Law Service

Mon, 19/08/2019 - 15:45

For information on community care, disabilty discrimination and employment law follow the link below.