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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.



Update: new Ministry of Justice research

Wed, 09/03/2016 - 09:00

The last meeting of the APPG on Legal Aid took place on Wednesday 9th March 2015, between 9 and 10 am.

The meeting was held in Committee Room 6, Houses of Parliament, chaired by Sir Keir Starmer, QC, MP.

The title of this meeting was Update: new Ministry of Justice research. Many thanks to our speakers:

  • Ashley Ames, Research Director and Isabella Pereira, Associate Director, Social Research Institute, Ipsos MORI, who discussed two recently published reports:

    • The Varying Paths to Justice, a large-scale qualitative study, which aimed to understand how and why people try to resolve their civil, administrative or family justice problems.

    • Survey of Not for Profit Legal Advice Providers in England and Wales

  • Mark Fenhalls QC, Chair of the Criminal Bar Association, who will talk about the report The composition and remuneration of junior barristers under the Advocates’ Graduate Fee Scheme in criminal legal aid.



Hot topics in Legal Aid

Thu, 22/10/2015 - 09:00

This meeting took place in the Jubilee Room, Houses of Parliament, between 9.00 and 10.00 am on 22nd October 2015 and updated parliamentarians about recent developments in Legal Aid. The meeting heard about

- The outcome of the criminal tender (announced on Thursday 15th October 2015) from Jon Black, partner at BSB Solicitors and Chairs of LCCSA (London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association)

- Administrative challenges facing clients and legal aid providers from Jenny Beck, partner at Stephensons Solicitors and Co-Chair of Legal Aid Practitioners Group

- Recent developments in relation to domestic violence and legal aid from Emma Scott, Director of Rights of Women


Lights refreshments will be available.



Challenges facing the advice sector

Wed, 16/09/2015 - 09:00

This meeting will take place between 9.00 and 10.00 am in the Jubilee Room, Houses of Parliament. 

Confirmed speakers:

- Lord Low, chair of The Low Commission on the Future of Advice and Legal Support

- Steve Johnson, Chief Executive of AdviceUK

- Julie Bishop, Director of the Law Centres Network

- John Edwards, Head of Service Delivery at Age UK

- Laura Bunt, Head of Policy Research at Citizens Advice

Light refreshments will be available.



Human Rights and Legal Aid

Wed, 08/07/2015 - 09:00

Following the election, it is proposed to reinstate the APPG on Legal Aid.

The first formal meeting will take place in the Jubilee Room, Houses of Parliament and will be in two parts.

1.  Inaugural Election of Officers

2.  Discussion on the relationship between Human Rights and Legal Aid. There will be external speakers: Paul Bowen QC (Brick Court) and Alison Pickup (Doughty Street Chambers). The speakers will be introduced by Sir Keir Starmer, QC, MP.




Impact of the civil legal aid cuts

Wed, 18/03/2015 - 17:00

This meeting took place in Committee Room 11 in the Houses of Parliament and considered recent research and evidence on the impact of the cuts to civil legal aid. The speakers were: Eleanor Murray from the National Audit Office, David Oldfield from the Public Law Project, Shauneen Lambe and Joe Lee-Dowd from JustRights. 



The future of criminal legal aid

Tue, 13/01/2015 - 08:30

A meeting on the future of criminal legal aid took place on the 13th January 2015.



Access to justice for children and young people

Thu, 16/10/2014 - 08:30

The APG Legal Aid meeting on access to justice for children and young people was held on 16th October 2014. This meeting was also our Annual General Meeting.

Cuts to legal aid in recent years have been made across the board with no exceptions for young people. Further changes to legal rules for judicial review also make no exceptions.  Yet the evidence is mounting that young people are particularly affected by issues relating to access to justice. This session will present evidence of the impact of cut backs so far and brief members on aspects of the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, currently about to reach report stage, that will have a further effect on young people.

Research by Just for Kids Law commissioned by the Children's Commissioner is available here:

The Guardian has reported the research here:

A briefing by Just Rights on the impact of interventions in judicial review cases on young people is available here:

Speakers included representatives from the Office of the Children's Commissioner, JustRights, Just for Kids Law, The Howard League for Penal Reform, Coram Children's Legal Centre, Children's Rights Alliance England and Youth Access.



Assisting constituents following LASPO

Wed, 03/09/2014 - 08:30

The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the challenges faced by advice providers, including MPs through their surgeries and casework, following LASPO 2012.




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