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November 2015


Legal Action

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For 20 years, the academic Prof Richard Susskind has been predicting the end of legal practice as we know it, and warning lawyers to wake up to the reality of advancements in IT.

The ‘fraudulent behaviour’ of some legal aid firms is to blame for the increased bureaucratic burden being imposed by the Legal Aid Agency, according to its director of commissioning and strategy, Hugh Barrett.

Legal advice should be included as part of a package of ‘social prescribing’, to solve people’s problems, according to delegates at a health and social welfare law conference, where there was strong support for the idea.

I recently went to an interesting and unusual trial in Essex, the case of Small v Taylor Edwards (London) Ltd Southend County Court, 18 September 2015.


Don’t give clients cause for grievance

November, 2015 by Vicky Ling

It’s natural to worry about complaints, but if you have good procedures in place you may be able to avoid them or at least mitigate any damage caused.

The availability of discretionary housing payments by local authorities is being cited by courts as grounds for dismissing challenges over the discriminatory impact of the bedroom tax, says Richard Machin.


FGM: why prosecutions are not the answer

November, 2015 by Cris McCurley

Female genital mutilation is brutal, but criminal law has proved to be too blunt an instrument to truly protect victims, says Cris McCurley.

Use it or lose it

Use it or lose it: community care

November, 2015 by David Edwards and Zena Soormally

David Edwards and Zena Soormally examine the availability of public funding in community care cases.

Use it or lose it

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 aims to highlight where legal aid remains for civil cases.

Law and practice

Employment: update

November, 2015 by Philip Tsamados

Zero-hours contracts; national minimum and living wages; employment tribunal fees; and decisions on discrimination, tribunal procedure. Philip Tsamados highlights the most important changes.

Law and practice

Youth justice: update

November, 2015 by Jennifer Twite and Kate Aubrey-Johnson

Jennifer Twite and Kate Aubrey-Johnson set out key developments including Supreme Court clarification over the ‘best interests’ principle, allocation of cases to the youth court and the introduction of so-called ‘gangbos’.