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November 2014

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Legal Action

if you have a message regarding the magazine, please contact the editor Louise Heath at  lag@lag.org.uk.

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LAG is currently reviewing how we publish Legal Action online. As part of this process we have decided to discontinue the practice of posting a pdf version of the journal. As an interim measure we will continue to publish the digital version of articles and these will continue to be accessible to current subscribers for no charge.

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Affordable housing seems set to become an election issue, with the Labour party’s publication last month of the results of Sir Michael Lyons’ review into the future of housing. The big question is, will these policies, or those of the other main political parties, make any difference to the housing crisis which is engulfing most parts of the country?

A consultation forced on the government by the successful judicial review brought by groups representing criminal legal aid solicitors has now closed. LAG, along with many other organisations and individuals, submitted responses to the consultation, which had asked for comments on two expert reports into the viability of the criminal legal aid market.

News

Big drop in legal aid cases

November, 2014 by LAG

The number of cases funded by legal aid continues to fall, according to figures released by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

Column

Slowing the juggernaut of legal aid cuts

November, 2014 by Katie Brown and Connor Johnston

The last few years have been grim for access to justice, but the recent run of successful judicial reviews gives some hope for the future. With the election looming, we plan to keep up the pressure on all political parties, say Katie Brown and Connor Johnston.

Column

Preparing for your SQM audit

November, 2014 by Vicky Ling

In the run up to the new crime contracts, some firms will be gearing up for a Specialist Quality Mark (SQM) audit. Vicky Ling shares her top tips.

Feature

Research published by the Children's Commissioner provides firm evidence that, as widely predicted, the 2013 legal aid cuts are having a devastating impact on vulnerable young people. Fiona Bawdon, editor of Legal Action, reports.

Feature

The Low Commission took to the road to attend the conferences of all three main political parties to explain why change is essential to ensure those in need have access to advice and support. James Sandbach reports.

Use it or lose it

Sorting myths from facts over housing cases

November, 2014 by Jan Luba QC and Sara Stephens

The campaign against the LASPO Act highlighted where funding was being cut, but it is just as important for everyone to be aware of the areas where civil legal aid remains. In the first of a series of articles, Jan Luba QC and Sara Stephens explain what legal aid is still available in the housing field and how advisers might help their clients make best use of it.

Law and practice

Desmond Rutledge discusses the implications for housing benefit (HB) claims when parents let property to their disabled son or daughter to enable independent living for the disabled person. The principles from case-law are explained in detail.

Law and practice


Jesse Nicholls examines the way in which judicial review and civil claims arising from deaths involving state culpability can be used to ensure full, fair and fearless investigations are conducted into such deaths, and to hold state bodies to account. Parts 1 and 2 (to be published in December 2014/January 2015 Legal Action) of this article consider the common decisions that can be challenged by judicial review in inquest cases, the grounds of challenge available, some aspects of public law procedure and remedies that are particularly relevant to inquest judicial review. Part 3 of this article (to be published in February 2015 Legal Action) will examine the range of civil claims that may be available in death cases.