MoJ scraps housing court duty scheme tender

The Ministry of Justice has scrapped the tender for the housing possession court duty scheme following the successful challenge brought by the Law Centres Network.

There are currently 113 duty desk schemes and last year the MoJ decided to consolidate them into 47 schemes through a tender including price competition. The LCN argued that the MoJ’s reforms were based on ‘questionable, untested assumptions’ and without proper analysis of its effect on people for whom the service is intended. The court ruled that ‘this decision was one that no reasonable decision-maker could reach on the state of the evidence that LAA [Legal Aid Agency] had gathered’ . The court has quashed both the MOJ’s decision to move to fewer larger contracts and its decision to launch the tender.

The MoJ today confirmed it was cancelling the contracts including to those organisations who had been awarded contracts. ‘We will publish further information regarding the next steps for HPCDS contracts as soon as possible,’ the MoJ said. More here.

About Jon Robins

Jon is a journalist and has written about the law and justice for the national papers and specialist press for more than 15 years. Jon is a visiting journalism lecturer at Winchester University, a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln and patron of Hackney Community Law Centre. He has won the Bar Council’s legal reporter of the year award twice (2015 and 2005). Jon is editor and co-founder of LegalVoice

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