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June 2015


Legal Action

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Within days of being elected, the new government has sparked much controversy by confirming that it intends to carry out its manifesto pledge to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and replace it with a British Bill of Rights. LAG argues that this cannot be achieved without overcoming considerable impediments and the Conservatives might be best advised to drop the idea, as the last Labour government did.

Practitioner groups are warning of disaster if the Legal Aid Agency goes ahead with plans to make its ‘fundamentally flawed’ Client and Cost Management System (CCMS) compulsory from October 2015.

The charity Justice argues that radical solutions are needed to tackle the crisis in the justice system caused by cuts to legal aid, the advice sector, and the courts and tribunals system. In its report, Delivering Justice in an Age of Austerity, it admits that the more inquisitorial approach it advocates will require investment. LAG fears that the government will need to experience a policy epiphany before it will commit any cash for reforming the civil justice system.

Cover story

The Legal Aid Agency has spent two years and millions of pounds developing a digital billing system that is slower and more cumbersome than the paper one it replaces. Catherine Baksi explains why the LAA’s Client and Cost Management System is driving hard-pressed practitioners to tears.


Targets help to hit the spot

June, 2015 by Vicky Ling

Setting performance targets is a vital part of ensuring an organisation’s success. It’s important that staff understand what’s expected of them and that progress is effectively monitored so problems can be spotted early, says Vicky Ling


Testing times ahead

June, 2015 by Oliver Carter and Rachel Francis.

In the wake of the election result, there has never been a more important time for legal aid lawyers to stay united and fight together to protect access to justice, say YLAL’s new co-chairs Oliver Carter and Rachel Francis.


The finalists for the 2015 Legal Aid Practitioners Group’s Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards have been announced. This year sees three new awards, access to justice through IT, children’s rights, and public law. The calibre of entrants remains as high as ever.


Access to justice closed off

June, 2015 by Jo Gregson and Chris Johnson

The Traveller community, which was already a highly disadvantaged group, is having its rights chiselled away further by a combination of changes in legislation and funding. Jo Gregson and Chris Johnson explain what lawyers can do to try to protect Travellers and their families, and the thinking behind the ‘No Mad Laws’ campaign.

Use it or lose it

Legal aid for immigration cases

June, 2015 by Alison Harvey

While immigration cases are broadly out of scope of LASPO, this exclusion is subject to a number of limitations. Alison Harvey looks at those areas where public funding for representation and advice remains available.
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, 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

Immigration policy and legislation update

June, 2015 by Jawaid Luqmani and Colin Yeo

Jawaid Luqmani and Colin Yeo review the latest changes including new Immigration Act 2014 commencement orders and substantial amendments to the Immigration Rules.

Law and practice

Update on the Court of Protection

June, 2015 by Sophy Miles and Alex Ruck Keene

Sophy Miles and Alex Ruck Keene consider recent changes to the Court of Protection Rules and look at the responsibilities of the relevant person’s representative following AJ v A Local Authority.