Doing it Yourself: litigants in person in the post-LASPO family court

Posted by - 14th December 2018

The reforms to legal aid in England and Wales have been the subject of significant controversy since their implementation under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act in April 2013. In my recently completed doctoral research, I examined the ways in which this has marked a fundamental shift in how different people

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JusticeWatch: ‘The dead rat is still there…’

Posted by - 7th December 2018

Justice in a time of austerity The BBC’s home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani made an unpleasant discovery at the Royal Courts of Justice. ‘The dead rat is still there,’ he tweeted. He couldn’t attach a photo because ‘that’s a breach of the law banning filming in courts’. ‘So here, for the one and only time,

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Labour vows to reinstate legal aid for benefit apeals

Posted by - 6th December 2018

The shadow justice minister has promised to commit a Labour government to reinstating legal aid for benefits appeals as soon as it takes power. Writing for the Guardian yesterday, Labour MP Richard Burgon wrote that out of all the cuts to legal aid, ‘the slashing of advice for ill and disabled people unfairly denied their

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The great fallacy of mandatory sentencing laws

Posted by - 6th December 2018

The great fallacy of mandatory sentencing laws is the thought that being tough on crime will deter people from committing crimes in the first place. This is an attractive prospect, as legal professionals and policymakers we strive to see less people incarcerated and going through the criminal legal system. Yet as Ed Davey MP, the

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JusticeWatch: A lawyer-free zone

Posted by - 30th November 2018

A change is coming The government has found an extra £23m spending for barristers’ trial fees in serious criminal cases – reported the BBC at the weekend. In April, the MoJ introduced changes to the Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme. ‘The new system, along with existing concerns, prompted a period of industrial action by some criminal

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Sumption: Barristers with ‘banner in hand and wig on head look ridiculous’

Posted by - 29th November 2018

Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption courted controversy at the weekend when, drawing a distinction with criminal legal aid, he labelled the civil budget ‘discretionary’. He also said that barristers demonstrating with ‘banner in hand and wig on head’ looked ‘ridiculous’ and were completely ‘counter-productive’. Addressing the annual Bar and Young Bar Conference, Sumption said that

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JusticeWatch: ‘The Bar is backsliding into a career for the rich’

Posted by - 23rd November 2018

Backsliding at the Bar Caighli Taylor, a 31-year-old barrister speaking to the The Times’ Law, reported that barristers were leaving the Bar ‘en masse’. ‘Demanding hours at unremunerative rates, changeable diaries and inflexible listing practices render the career unfeasible for caregivers,’ she said. ‘The Bar is also backsliding to become a career only for the rich:

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