Sunday, 15 April 2012
The Legal Aid Bill - please e mail your MP
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill (LASPO) has returned to the House of Commons. The most controversial aspect of this Bill relates to the government's plans to axe civil legal aid in many areas. As the Bill went through the Lords, amendments to the Bill were secured with the support of peers with considerable experience of the legal system. The amendments are in vital areas such as for children under aged 18, domestic violence cases and certain clinical negligence matters. The reality remains that the government has secured the vast majority of its aims for legal aid and the Lords amendments, which do not entail massive costs, should now be accepted by government as important improvements to the Bill.
If you agree, please E Mail your MP - via Justice for All. - to ask your MP to try to prevent the Commons reversing the amendments. It would be shameful if they do. The few moments you spend doing this might just make an enormous difference for the better in someone's life.
Update - Monday 16th April - Law Society Gazette - "Ministers target child legal aid in fightback against bill amendments" - In relation to legal aid, The only amendments not opposed by the government are changes to ensure the independence of the director of legal aid casework; the retention of legal aid for welfare benefit appeals to the Upper Tribunal, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, and the widened definition of domestic violence. However, the government does not accept the Lords’ amendment to broaden the evidential criteria required to demonstrate domestic violence."