Meetings

Meetings of the APPG are not open to the public. If you want to be invited to a meeting please use the "‘contact’ section of this website.

Transforming Legal Aid - Next Steps in relation to criminal legal aid

Wed, 15/01/2014 - 16:30

The new Legal Aid Minister, Shailesh Vara MP, spoke about the ongoing changes and attempted to answer the audience’s concerns.

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Government proposals for the future of legal aid

Tue, 29/10/2013 - 16:30

Lord McNally, having just left the role of legal aid Minister, spoke about the Government’s latest proposals and invited comments from the audience.

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Emerging findings from the Low Commission

Tue, 03/09/2013 - 16:30

This meeting provided a valuable opportunity for an update from the Low Commission on the Future of Advice and Legal Support. The meeting was addressed by Lord Low of Dalston, who set out the Commission’s main findings so far and sought the views of the audience on the Commission’s provisional proposals.

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‘Transforming Legal Aid’ consultation

Wed, 15/05/2013 - 16:30

This meeting was again addressed by a panel of experts: Laura Janes (consultant solicitor at Scott-Moncrieff and Associates LLP and at the Howard League for Penal Reform), Tim Owen QC (barrister, Matrix Chambers), Michael Fordham QC (barrister, Blackstone Chambers), Alison Harvey (Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association), and Lord Beecham. A highlight of this meeting was the contribution made by Anne Hall, mother of Daniel Roque Hall, a disabled former prisoner who had been assisted by legal aid to secure his appropriate treatment and eventually release. This was a valuable opportunity for the audience and Parliamentarians present to hear directly about the positive effects of legal aid from the client’s point of view. 

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Crime competitive tendering

Wed, 20/03/2013 - 16:30

Dr Elizabeth Gibby, Deputy Director responsible for Legal Aid and Legal Services Policy at the Ministry of Justice, attended to discuss the Government’s proposals for changes to the delivery of criminal legal aid services. She was joined by a panel of expert speakers: Stephen Hockman QC (Head of Chambers at Six Pump Court and former Chair of the Bar Council), Richard Miller (Head of Legal Aid at the Law Society), Greg Powell (Managing Partner of Powell Spencer and Partners Solicitors and Executive Officer of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association), and Robin Murray (Senior Partner at Robin Murray and Co Solicitors and Vice-Chair of the Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association).

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Social welfare law

Wed, 13/02/2013 - 16:30

The topic of this meeting was “Life after the legal aid cuts: social welfare law”. The meeting was addressed by a panel of speakers with wide-ranging experience of social welfare law: Lord Low of Dalston, Patrick Torsney (creator of ilegal.org.uk), Margie Butler (Chief Executive of Mary Ward Legal Centre), Giles Peaker (Anthony Gold Solicitors), James Sandbach (Citizens Advice), and Lord Bach.

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The Legal Aid Cuts - questions to Lord McNally

Tue, 22/01/2013 - 16:30

Lord McNally, Minister of State for Justice and (then) legal aid Minister, addressed the meeting on the Government’s legal aid cuts. This provided a valuable opportunity for the audience to question Lord McNally directly on this and make submissions on areas of concern.

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2012 LASPO regulations

Wed, 07/11/2012 - 16:30

This meeting considered the series of statutory instruments which were being made at the time under LASPOA 2012. In particular, the discussion focused on the (then draft) Civil Legal Aid (Merits Criteria) Regulations 2013 and the Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 2012. Very strong concerns were raised over a number of aspects of these: in particular, the introduction of a mandatory telephone gateway to access some areas of civil legal aid, and strict evidential requirements for proving domestic violence in order to gain civil legal aid on this ground.

In addition, concerns were raised over the effect of a provision in the draft Merits Regulations which appeared to limit the scope of legal aid for public law (judicial review) claims extremely narrowly, requiring an applicant to have exhausted all other means of challenging a decision affecting them, rather than all reasonable avenues. Following a successful challenge in the House of Lords, this was subsequently amended.[1]

 

[1] The Lords debate can be read here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201213/ldhansrd/text/121203-0002.htm. The relevant provision is reg 53(b) of the Merits Criteria Regulations, as amended by the Civil Legal Aid (Merits Criteria) (Amendment) Regulations 2013: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/772/contents/made.

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