Joint Memo to the Justice Committee - August 2017

In anticipation of the government's review of the LASPO Act 2012, LCN and several other access to justice organisations have written to Parliament's Justice Committee to set out our main themes and concerns. 

We have also suggested how legal aid could be reformed to work better for the people who need it. Emphases include focusing on clients and their needs; redrawing legal aid's scope so it solves legal problems more comprehensively; making accessibility a priority; and evaluating the accumulated impact of reforms to legal aid and other public supports to better inform future policy.

The joint submission comes in two parts: a letter making the headline arguments, and four appendices expanding on each of the four themes. 

LASPO review joint memo to JSC - August 2017Download[619 KB]

LCN Consultation Response: Universal Credit and Legal Aid - May 2017

In early 2017, the Legal Aid Agency consulted on changes to the way people claiming income-related benefits are 'passported' onto legal aid, meaning that no separate means-testing is required when they need legal aid. A key proposal was to remove passporting for all claimants receiving any income from work, even if this work is within what DWP permits them.

LCN Response to Legal Aid UC Consultation May 2017Download[293 KB]

LCN Consultation Response: Proposed Changes to HPCDS - March 2017

In early 2017 the Legal Aid Agency consulted on changes to the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS), which helps people defend possession proceedings and avoid evictions. Two main proposals were introducing a price-competitive tender (while other legal aid services are tendered at fixed fees) and a drastic reduction to the number of schemes, leaving much fewer, larger schemes. 

LCN Response to HPCDS Consultation March 2017Download[470 KB]

LCN Consultation Response: Tribunal Panel Composition - November 2016

The Ministry of Justice has consulted on changes to tribunals, coinciding with its plans to digitise the entire courts and tribunals system. This response, to the consultation titled 'Transforming Our Justice System', deals with two proposals: firstly, to remove Non-Legal Members from tribunal panels; and secondly, to make tribunal hearings digital by default, relying on various means of assistance to support the access of appellants who are unable to do so on their own. 

LCN Response to Tribunals ConsultationDownload[327 KB]

LCN Submission to the Bach Commission - May 2016

The Bach Commission, led by former legal aid minister Lord Willy Bach, is a Labour Party commission, supported by the Fabian Society. It was set up three years after the coalition government's cuts to civil legal aid, to examine the best way to provide access to justice to at least a basic guaranteed standard for all. Here is our submission to the commission. 

LCN Evidence to Bach CommissionDownload[387 KB]

LCN response: SRA consultation on new common professional assessment with greater emphasis on competencies - March 2016

This relates to those seeking to qualify as solicitors. LCN responded to encourage new and more flexible assessment mechanisms and a clearer framework of the qualification pathways.

LCN response to T4T_Assessing CompetenceDownload[220 KB]

LCN Response: SRA consultation ‘A Question of Trust’ - January 2016

 This is a discussion on the distinguishing levels of disciplinary responses to solicitor actions plus SRA staff training on evaluation in that area. LCN submitted a short response, including recommendations that SRA ensure a consistency of approach in responding to client harm and an understanding of the complexity of casework undertaken by those who work with vulnerable clients.

LCN Response to SRA consultation entitled ‘A Question of Trust’Download[140 KB]

LCN evidence to House of Lords Committee on the Equality Act and Disability - September 2015

Discrimination specialists from across Law Centres have drawn up evidence to this important House of Lords committee inquiry. Based on this, we were invited to give oral evidence to the committee, followed by several additional written submissions (at the end of the document below). The committee has referred to our evidence at numerous points throughout its final report

LCN Evidence to HoL Committee on Equality Act and DisabilityDownload[261 KB]

LCN response: LSB consultation on in-house lawyer regulation

The Legal Services Board, which is the oversight regulator for legal services, consulted on unnecessary 'red tape' in the regulation of in-house lawyers. LCN has responded as Law Centre solicitors have been regulated as if they were in-house solicitors. 

LCN response to LSB discussion on in-house lawyersDownload[219 KB]

LCN Response to the 'Transforming Legal Aid' Consultation

From early April to to early June 2013, the Ministry of Justice has been consulting on a raft of proposals for driving down the cost of legal aid by cutting various elements of the current service and comprehensively overhauling the way criminal legal aid is procured. 

Below is the Law Centres Network's main response to the consultation. We are also represented in some joint frameworks which are submitting their own replies, such as the JustRights campaign for children and young people's access to justice, and the Equality and Diversity Forum. 

'Transforming Legal Aid' - LCN ResponseDownload[352 KB]

JustRights Response to 'Transforming Legal Aid' Consultation

JustRights is a joint campaign for access to justice for children and young people, which LCN co-chairs together with YouthAccess. JustRights have submitted a consultation response focussing on the impact of proposals for children and young people. 

JustRights Consultation ResponseDownload[232 KB]

Joint Briefing on Housing in the New Legal Aid Consultation

The Law Centres Network has joined several advice organisations - Shelter, Young Legal Aid Lawyers, Legal Aid Practitioners Group and others - in a briefing condemning new proposals for further cuts to legal aid. 

New changes to Legal Aid affecting homeless peopleDownload[285 KB]

LCN Response to Civil Mediation Council Consultation

In spring 2013, the Civil Mediation Council held a consultation on its role within the burgeoning field of mediation. The consultation focused on the CMC's potential role in introducing a system of professional standards and accreditation for mediators. Here is LCN's response to the consultation.

LCN Response to CMC Consultation - May 2013Download[273 KB]

LCN Consultation Response: Proposed Changes to HPCDS - March 2017

In early 2017 the Legal Aid Agency consulted on changes to the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS), which helps people defend possession proceedings and avoid evictions. Two main proposals were introducing a price-competitive tender (while other legal aid services are tendered at fixed fees) and a drastic reduction to the number of schemes, leaving much fewer, larger schemes. 

LCN Response to HPCDS Consultation March 2017Download[470 KB]