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February 2014


Legal Action

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Holding the state to account

February, 2014 by LAG

LAG believes that last month’s verdict of lawful killing in the Mark Duggan case provides an opportunity to reflect on the inquest system and the important issue of how the state is held to account for the death of a citizen.


The High Court has ruled against four criminal barristers who challenged the proposed quality assurance scheme for advocates (QASA) in R (1) Lumsdon (2) Taylor (3) Howker QC (4) Hewertson v Legal Services Board and (1) General Council of the Bar (acting by the Bar Standards Board) (2) Solicitors Regulation Authority (3) ILEX Professional Standards (interested parties) [2014] EWHC 28 (Admin), 20 January 2014.


The national rollout of a new system of electronic working for civil cases has been postponed by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) just before its launch date.


Keir Starmer QC used the 2013 LAG lecture to make a robust defence of human rights legislation and its role in protecting victims. The former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), who was awarded a knighthood for services to law and criminal justice in the New Year Honours list, talked about his 'most difficult case' during his time in the post and the challenge of dealing with the rise in use of social media.


The Low Commission, set up by Legal Action Group, is the biggest independent inquiry into the future of social welfare law ever undertaken. Chaired by the crossbencher and respected disability rights campaigner Lord (Colin) Low, the commission took evidence from 250 people and organisations, and 400 people attended its meetings held all around the country. Its report was published last month and below is a summary of its main recommendations.

Law and practice

Recent developments in immigration detention and the law - Part 1

February, 2014 by Janet Farrell and Jed Pennington

Janet Farrell and Jed Pennington continue their six-monthly series on significant developments in law and policy and legislation affecting immigration detainees. This article covers recent policy issues, including a review of the inquest into the death of Jimmy Mubenga, and case-law relating to detention policy on people refusing food and fluids. Part 2 of this article will be published in March 2014 Legal Action.

Law and practice

Recent developments in prison law - Part 1

February, 2014 by Hamish Arnott, Nancy Collins and Simon Creighton

Hamish Arnott, Nancy Collins and Simon Creighton continue their series of updates on the law relating to prisoners and their rights. This article reviews policy and legislation relating to funding changes, incentives and earned privileges (IEP), prison discipline and parole, and case-law relating to parole, administration of sentences and home detention curfew (HDC). Part 2 of this article will be published in March 2014 Legal Action.