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September 2014


Legal Action

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Justice before cost-cutting

September, 2014 by LAG

In a welcome move, the government delayed its plans to call for tenders for duty solicitor work in police stations and magistrates’ courts at the end of July.


A recent judgment has raised the possibility that, in particular private family law cases, the court may direct that the ‘cost of certain activities’, including ‘appropriate representation’, be provided at the expense of HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS).


Duty contracts tender delayed

September, 2014 by LAG

The formal tender process for police station and magistrates’ court duty contracts has been delayed until October.


Citizens Advice at 75

September, 2014 by Gillian Guy

Citizens Advice celebrates its 75th anniversary this month. Here, chief executive Gillian Guy looks back over the last three-quarters of a century of advice-giving and examines how Citizens Advice will continue to play a vital role in helping the public with their everyday problems.


The award-winning barrister S Chelvan takes his passion for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) legal rights from the courtroom into the public sphere. Fiona Bawdon, freelance legal affairs journalist and founder of the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year (LALY) awards, spoke to him.

Law and practice

Mental health law update - Part 1

September, 2014 by Joanna Dean, Alison Fiddy, Joanna Sulek and Angela Truell

Joanna Dean, Alison Fiddy, Joanna Sulek and Angela Truell report on recent developments in policy and legislation relating to mental health law. The topics cover Mind’s policy work and other issues of interest to people advising on this area of law. Part 2 of this article, covering significant case-law, will be published in October 2014 Legal Action.

Law and practice

Christopher Curran, Phil Fennell and Simon Burrows describe the statutory requirement on the responsible authority (RA) to provide a statement of information about the patient (‘the RA statement’) and tribunal reports for mental health tribunals (MHTs), which is a legal requirement in England by virtue of the 2013 Practice Direction made under powers contained in Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 s23 and the mandatory obligations placed on RAs by Tribunal Procedure (First-Tier Tribunal) (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber) Rules 2008 r32 (as amended).



September, 2014 by Cris McCurley

Cris McCurley, partner at Ben Hoare Bell LLP and solicitor advocate, reviews 'Same sex marriage and civil partnerships: the new law' by Mark Harper, S Chelvan, Martin Downs, Katharine Landells and Gerald Wilson.