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APPG on Legal Aid Meeting: Legal Aid and Inquests, New Domestic Violence Regulations and Prison Law Reforms

Wed, 07/02/2018 - 09:30

Speakers: The APPG on Legal Aid is delighted to welcome Jess Phillips MP and Jenny Beck of Beck Fitzgerald to speak about the new Domestic Violence Regulations. We are also very excited to welcome Alison McGovern MP to speak about the Public Authorities Accountability Bill which calls for the availability of Legal Aid for families at inquests and public inquiries, known as the "Hillsborough Law".



APPG on Legal Aid: LASPO Review and LAPG Manifesto

Tue, 05/12/2017 - 17:00

Our latest APPG meeting event, LASPO Review and LAPG Manifesto was held on 5th December. The APPG on Legal Aid was thrilled to welcome Bob Neill MP, Chair of the Justice Select Committee who spoke about the Committee’s approach to the Post-Legislative Memorandum that was submitted on 30th October 2017 and the Post-Implementation Review of LASPO. He was followed by Nicola Mackintosh QC (Hon) and Jenny Beck, Co-Chairs of LAPG who discussed the wider implications of the LASPO review and the release of the second edition of the LAPG Manifesto. Speakers from the floor included Alex Chalk MP, Andy Slaughter MP, Sir Henry Bellingham MP and Dr Marie Burton who has just completed her PhD which considers whether advice in social welfare law can be effectively delivered over the telephone. The discussion was as lively and thought-provoking as ever.


Minutes of the meeting are available here.




Casework and Your Constituents

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 17:00

Wednesday, 1 November 2017 – 17.00-19.00 -‘Casework and Your Constituents’ an event bringing together MPs, their caseworkers and legal advice, training and resource providers from the sector. The event aimed to (i) launch a training programme designed for MPs and their caseworkers which is to be rolled out in the coming months and (ii) to publicise resources and websites useful to caseworkers.

Recent research found that 89 per cent of constituent appointments at MPs' surgeries related to a legal issue, and many of the caseworkers that we have spoken to have responded positively to our offer of training and to signpost resources to them that will assist with their casework.

The programme that we are working on with other organisations will provide training in the following areas of law:

  • Legal Aid: What remains within scope, the means and merits test and referring to legal aid providers
  • Identifying legal issues
  • Housing Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Welfare Benefits Law
  • Issues around Disability

The Reception was introduced by Karen Buck MP, Chair of the APPG on Legal Aid, Yvonne Fovargue MP, Vice-Chair of the APPG on Legal Aid and Alex Chalk MP, Chair of the APPG on Pro Bono and Public Legal Education and Vice-Chair of the APPG on Legal Aid. The speakers all spoke passionately about the wonderful work that their caseworkers did among their constituents and welcomed both the training and resource initiatives. All in all, the event was a resounding success with over fifty caseworkers signed up for training in Westminster and in their local communities.



Grenfell Tower: Fire and Safety Issues in Social Housing

Wed, 25/10/2017 - 17:00

Wednesday, 25 October 2017 – Grenfell Tower: Fire and Safety Issues in Social Housing discussed the legal and regulatory issues arising from Grenfell Tower and the need to improve legal rights for tenants. Speaking at the meeting were Giles Peaker (Partner, Anthony Gold Solicitors), Justin Bates (Barrister, Arden Chambers) and Emma Dent Coad, MP for Kensington.

Minutes of the meeting are available below.



Joint meeting

Wed, 06/09/2017 - 10:30

Wednesday,  6 September 2017 – a joint meeting of the Chairs and Secretariats of five ‘access to justice’ APPGs to discuss joint working and priorities



Inaugural Meeting - Wednesday, 12th July 2017 - 09:00 - 10:00

Wed, 12/07/2017 - 09:00

This was the inaugural meeting for this Parliamentary session of the APPG on Legal Aid during which the Group was reconvened and the Group's Officers were elected.  The meeting covered current issues in both Civil and Criminal Legal Aid and touch upon the legal aid issues arising out of the Grenfell Tower fire.




POSTPONED: APPG on Legal Aid: Update on Criminal Defence Legal Aid

Tue, 25/04/2017 - 17:30

Please note that the APPG on Legal Aid meeting scheduled for 25 April 2017 has been postponed following the general election announcement.  We will reschedule the meeting for after the election once the MOJ ministerial team has been confirmed.  This is likely to happen in late-June.  Please contact us at LAPG if you want to discuss the work of the APPG or legal aid/access to justice issues in general.


Joint meeting of the APPGs on Legal Aid, Pro Bono and Public Legal Education

Tue, 17/01/2017 - 17:00

We were pleased to be joined by Sir Oliver Heald, QC MP, the Minister of State for Courts and Justice, for a discussion about current issues in legal aid.  Sir Oliver announced the formal review of the impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, to be completed by the end of March 2018.



The Bach Commission - Interim Report - And Amnesty International

Wed, 07/12/2016 - 16:00

Lord Bach presented the interim report of the Bach Commission's interim report, The crisis in the justice system in England & Wales. Copy available here

Rachel Logan, Law and Human Rights Programme Director at Amnesty International, presented their report, Cuts that Hurt. Copy available here



Civil and Criminal Legal Aid

Tue, 12/07/2016 - 17:30

Unfortunately Shailesh Vara MP, the Justice Minister whose remit covers legal aid and the courts, can no longer join us for the next APPG on Legal Aid.  The meeting will now focus on the recently released Legal Aid statistics, which provide a picture of the legal aid landscape in the three years following the implementation of LASPO. Released on 30 June 2016, the statistics cover the period up to 31 March 2016 and demonstrate the dramatic impact of the reforms introduced by LASPO.  The APPG is a good opportunity to discuss the impact: from the steep reduction in access, to the declining number of providers and the emergence of 'advice deserts'. The APPG will also consider what might happen over the coming years, with the LAA currently considering the content of both criminal and civil contracts and the shape and timing of the next tender rounds.

New Venue: Committee Room 19 - Houses of Parliament (Cromwell Green entrance - allow time for security checks)


Speakers: Nimrod Ben Cnaan, Law Centre Network; Steve Hynes, Legal Action Group; Carol Storer, LAPG; Oliver Carter, Young Legal Aid Lawyers.




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