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March 2016


Legal Action

if you have a message regarding the magazine, please contact the editor Louise Heath at

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For a justice system better known for its glacial pace of change, the online court (OC) project is proceeding at lightning speed.


Justice secretary Michael Gove announced that the government was abandoning the two-tier criminal legal aid contracts in a ministerial statement on 28 January (after last month’s issue of Legal Action had gone to press).


Last month, courts and legal aid minister Shailesh Vara announced that 86 courts and tribunals in England and Wales are to close.

Opinion and analysis

In praise of: Michael Gove

March, 2016 by Catherine Baksi

When Michael Gove was appointed justice secretary following the Tories' shock election victory, legal aid lawyers did not hold out much hope; the best they could cling to was that he is not Chris Grayling...

Opinion and analysis

The politics of pro bono

March, 2016 by Catherine Baksi

Cuts to legal aid and advice services are leading to a widening justice gap and the champions of pro bono are realistic about the limits of what they can do to bridge it. Catherine Baksi reports.


Douglas Johnson column

March, 2016 by Douglas Johnson

Universities must think ahead about the barriers their institutions place in the way of people with a range of disabilities.


Carol Storer column

March, 2016 by Carol Storer

I expected a sense of futility about another review of legal aid, but there is great enthusiasm for Labour’s Commission on Access to Justice.

Law and practice

Prison law: recent developments

March, 2016 by Hamish Arnott and Simon Creighton

Hamish Arnott and Simon Creighton highlight recent Prison Service Instructions and cases on matters including category A reviews, parole decisions and repatriation.

Law and practice

Mental health: update

March, 2016 by Joanna Dean and Alison Fiddy

Joanna Dean and Alison Fiddy look at the latest updates in mental health
policy and legislation, and highlight key guidance, reports and committee developments.