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March 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

From eBay to eJudge?

March, 2015 by LAG

The online auction house may have much to teach lawyers about dispute resolution, but such innovation won’t come cheap

News

Organizations representing criminal legal aid solicitors have pledged to continue the legal battle over the introduction of tenders, after losing their judicial reviews against the government’s plans.

News

Rights of Women (RoW) has launched an appeal against the High Court’s judgment in the judicial review, challenging the regulations on qualifying for legal aid in domestic violence cases.

Column

Biting the CCMS bullet

March, 2015 by Vicky Ling

Don’t let the name fool you. The Legal Aid Agency’s much-criticised ‘cost and case management system’ can’t actually be used to manage cases. Nevertheless, all firms will have to start using it later this year. Vicky Ling advises on how to learn from the bitter experience of those who’ve already been wrestling with it.

Column

A return to 2011 rates, reinstatement of grants for legal aid trainees, and restored funding for social welfare work. Carol Storer sets out the main points of LAPG’s ‘manifesto for legal aid’

Feature

LAG Annual Lecture. Side by side for Stephen

March, 2015 by Catherine Baksi

The murder more than 20 years ago of 18-year-old Stephen Lawrence marked the start of an unlikely and enduring relationship between a young defence solicitor and a grieving mother, who were both determined to get justice for her son.

Feature

In his first interview since the al-Sweady inquiry cleared British troops of wrongdoing, Phil Shiner says he has nothing to apologise for and accuses government critics of putting his life at risk.

Use it or lose it

Overcoming the public funding hurdles

March, 2015 by Fiona McGhie

Whether you can get legal aid for claims against the police depends on meeting the cost/benefit ratio and showing that the case isn’t suitable for a conditional fee. Fiona McGhie explains.

Civil legal aid may be down, but it’s not out completely – at least not yet. Legal Action’s ‘Use it or lose it’ series aims to highlight what remains of legal aid post- LASPO, and to show practitioners how they can make the most of it to help their clients obtain much-needed access to justice.

Law and practice

Mental health law update

March, 2015 by Joanna Dean and Felicity Auer

The Care Act 2014 is due to come into force next month. Joanna Dean and Felicity Auer explain the provisions affecting the mentally unwell, and round up the other key changes in mental health legislation

Law and practice

Employment law update

March, 2015 by Philip Tsamados

More flexible shared parental leave provisions; restrictions on claims for unauthorised deductions from wages; and key decisions on discrimination, contractual rights and unfair dismissal.
Philip Tsamados rounds up the most important changes