LASPO review update

James Sandbach, Director of Policy and External Affairs, LawWorks provides an update on the LASPO review.

LawWorks have been closely involved in the Government’s “post implementation review” (PIR) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 in a number of ways. At the start of the process we provided (jointly with 18 other stakeholders) an evidence memo to the Justice Select Committee, and have subsequently re-presented this to the review team at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The MoJ invited us to be part of their consultative groups in respect of civil and family justice and the advice sector, and we have continued to engage with the officials responsible for delivering the review. The review will report at the end of the year with recommendations to Ministers. 

Aiming to broaden the conversation and the number of stakeholders involved in the review, we partnered with the Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG) in organising a one-day conference about the review at Freshfield Buckhlaus’ London offices in June. You can read write ups of the day on the Legal Action Group and Litigants in person network websites.

We are continuing the process of gathering evidence for the review, and have been surveying clinics on the LawWorks Clinics Network – those involved in clinics can feed into this by completing our survey.

A wide range of stakeholders are preparing evidence for the review; this process of collecting evidence will continue until the end of September and we would welcome your thoughts – please send to James Sandbach. You can send in any evidence or case studies you consider relevant directly to the Ministry of Justice through the following email [email protected] which we understand will be monitored until the end of September.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Pro Bono and Public Legal Education is hosting a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham at 5.00pm on 2nd October: Rethinking Access to Justice – risks and opportunities from the Government’s Legal Aid review. Speakers include Justice Minister Lucy Frazer QC MP, and Bob Neill MP, Chair of the Justice Select Committee; if you are interested in coming along please contact James Sandbach.

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