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February 2015

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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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Editorial

Magna Carta

February, 2015 by LAG

Magna Carta: its historical impact is undeniable; its impact on current government policy is less easy to detect

News

Campaign group the Justice Alliance is calling for a boycott of an international conference organised by the Ministry of Justice to celebrate the sealing of the Magna Carta.

News

Crime tender suspended

February, 2015 by LAG

After the successful application for interim relief by the Criminal Law Solicitors Association (CLSA) and the London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association (LCCSA) on 23 December 2014, the Legal Aid Agency announced the suspension of the criminal legal aid tender.

Column

Family courts lead charge against legal aid cuts

February, 2015 by Katie Brown and Connor Johnston

A recent contested adoption highlighted the injustices caused by the LASPO cuts. Katie Brown and Connor Johnston applaud the role of family and other judges in challenging the changes

Column

Setting out your terms and conditions

February, 2015 by Vicky Ling

Firms can’t just draft their client care letters and then forget all about them. These are vital documents and need to be kept up to date, says Vicky Ling

Feature

Rushed reforms spark barrage of legal challenges

February, 2015 by Catherine Baksi

The government rushed through the biggest shake-up of civil legal aid since its inception without evidence of the potential impact, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ)’s permanent secretary Ursula Brennan admitted to the House of Commons public accounts committee in December 2014.

Feature

Community care law was shaped by three seismic events in 2014: the Care Act 2014, which comes into force in April 2015, repealing almost all existing adult social care and carer; the trenchant criticisms of implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, especially the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS), made by the Lords Select Committee; and the storm unleashed by the Supreme Court in the Cheshire West case.

Use it or lose it

Death of family legal aid 'greatly exaggerated'

February, 2015 by Elspeth Thomson

There is a widespread public perception (in some cases shared by advisers and community organisations) that legal aid is no longer available for anything other than criminal cases. Legal Action’s ‘Use it or lose it’ series will show that legal aid remains widely available in civil cases for many who need it, both to obtain advice and to take and defend legal proceedings.



Law and practice

Successful challenge over ‘no recourse to public funds’

February, 2015 by Mark Henderson and Adam Hundt

Mark Henderson and Adam Hundt explain the significance of the recent decision by the Upper Tribunal in Fakih

Law and practice

Recent developments in prison law - Part 1

February, 2015 by Hamish Arnott and Simon Creighton

Restrictions on indeterminate sentence prisoners being released on temporary licence; significant changes to probation; and, the so-called ‘book ban’ case. Hamish Arnott and Simon Creighton round up the key legal changes affecting prisoners.