JusticeWatch: Inequality of arms

Posted by - 4th October 2019

Priti scary ‘We are coming after you,’ threatened Priti Patel last week at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester. The ‘you’ being criminals, of course (as opposed to voters in marginal seats). The home secretary, who described herself as a ‘daughter of immigrants’ who needed ‘no lectures from the north London metropolitan liberal elite’, promised

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JusticeWatch: Breaking point

Posted by - 27th September 2019

Breaking point The latest criminal court statistics ‘sparked alarm among lawyers’  over ‘appalling’ crime detection rates and a growing backlog of cases, reported Jemma Slingo for the Law Society’s Gazette (here). According to the MoJ stats, the number of Crown court receipts and disposals ‘have fallen steadily over the past three years. While receipts rose

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JusticeWatch: ‘Justice for the people – not the privileged few’

Posted by - 20th September 2019

Justice for the people – ‘not just the privileged few’ A Corbyn government would deliver ‘hundreds of new social welfare lawyers’, as well as set up ‘dozens more law centres in areas that have most suffered from Conservative cuts’. The new law centres would be occupied by 200 lawyers specialising in areas such as benefits,

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JusticeWatch: a justice system ‘breaking at every point’

Posted by - 6th September 2019

Sometimes, you just want to live in a world that is a bit kinder Esme Madill, a former social worker and trainee solicitor at Islington Law Centre’s Migrant & Refugee Children’s Legal Unit (MiCLU), spoke to Fiona Bawdon for the Justice Gap’s All My Days column profiling the work done by Justice First Fellows funded

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JusticeWatch: Chronically under-funded

Posted by - 30th August 2019

Chronically under-funded magistrates courts ‘Most of us will hope never to set foot in one, but thousands end up appearing in court each year. What is it like in Wales’ 14 magistrates courts – and how are they working?’ asked journalist Jenny Rees for BBC News Wales. She spent a lively day with defence solicitor

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JusticeWatch: 2019 Justice First Fellowship scheme opens

Posted by - 23rd August 2019

Courts idle as cases stack up Nearly half of all crown courts across England and Wales were left empty on Monday this week, the Guardian’s Owen Bowcott reported, despite lawyers claiming that the backlog of criminal cases had never been so long. ‘Law experts suggested MoJ cuts to the number of sitting days and recorders

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JusticeWatch: Legal Aid Matters

Posted by - 19th July 2019

The shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon MP pledged that a Labour government would restore ‘all of early legal help’ in its first week in government at a Justice Alliance event to celebrate the 70th anniversary of legal aid. Will Bordell reported on the event for the Justice Gap. Richard Burgon described Lord Willy Bach’s report on access

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JusticeWatch: Running up the down escalator

Posted by - 5th July 2019

Running up the down escalator Family courts were having to ‘run up a down escalator’ to keep pace with unprecedented increases in childcare cases, the most senior family judge has said. According to The Guardian, Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the family division, some parents needed to be persuaded not to bring claims to court

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JusticeWatch: The MoJ’s ‘culture of refusal’

Posted by - 28th June 2019

The MoJ’s ‘culture of refusal’ Lawyers who help people in danger of losing their homes claim they are being forced to take on cases at their own financial risk as the Legal Aid Agency adopts a ‘culture of refusal, reported The Guardian. Applications for legal aid in homelessness cases has ‘tumbled’ despite a steep rise

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