www.mfjc.co.uk

The Merseyside Family Justice Council

website compiled by C Baker Contact Me
Justice Denied!!

Save UK Justice



"Ministry of Justice Consultation:
Transforming Legal Aid:
Delivering a more credible and efficient system."


The Government's latest proposals are likely to fundamentally and irreversibly change the Justice System and are relevant to anyone involved in or concerned about 'justice' - family law or otherwise. Find out how and what you can do to have a say in the proposals.There is detailed information on this page about the proposals, including a detailed Briefing Document, links to petitions, press articles, blogs, websites and details of how to contact your MP.

In summary the proposed changes means that:

• You will not be able to choose the lawyer who represents you

• You will not be able to choose a lawyer with a good reputation

• You will not be able to change your lawyer

• Your legal representative will be rewarded financially for agreeing with the case against you

• Less qualified individuals will handle cases involving crime and family law

• Thousands of small firms will go out of business and tax payers money handed to big businesses and corporations

Below is a Briefing Document prepared for a meeting that took place at LIverpool County Court to discuss the proposals. Below that is a table with useful links and resources on the issue, including links to ePetitions you can sign.

Briefing Document


If you cannot see this document on your smart phone, or to download the document directly to your computer, click here.


Transforming Legal Aid - Briefing Document -

Resources and Links

Enter the name for this tabbed section: Petitions
Please consider signing these two petitions:

"Save UK Justice Petition

Responsible department: Ministry of Justice

The MOJ should not proceed with their plans to reduce access to justice by depriving citizens of legal aid or the right to representation by the Solicitor of their choice."

Link to Save UK Justice Petition

"We are calling on the Ministry of Justice to reconsider its plans to introduce Price Competitive Tendering for criminal legal aid. We believe that people should be entitled to choose a lawyer to represent them based on quality, not just be allocated one on the basis of whoever can do the job for the lowest price.

As the Chairman of the Bar Council, I know that we have a legal system which is respected all over the world. These proposals will damage that beyond repair and hit the diversity of the legal profession hard. Cut price justice is no justice at all."

Link to 38 Degrees Petition
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Press Articles
Click on the underlined links for related press article


Chris Grayling's proposed reforms to legal aid undermine the foundations of British justice
31 May 2013: The Telegraph

Fears legal aid cuts will lead to innocent being wrongly convicted
21 May 2013: The Telegraph

Survey finds two in three people oppose legal aid cuts
21 May 2013: The Independent

Legal Aid Cuts Will Leave Wrongly Accused Under Pressure To Plead Guilty To Save Costs
21 May 2013: The Huffington post

Public fear legal aid cuts will lead to wrongful convictions, poll finds
21 May 2013: The Guardian

Legal aid cuts 'disaster' for black Londoners, warns lawyer for Stephen Lawrence's family
20 May 2013: The London Evening Standard

Legal watchdog warns budget cuts will damage justice
20 May 2013: The Guardian

Government must preserve the right of clients to choose own defence lawyer
20 May 2013 - Legal Services Consumer Panel

Grayling Defends Legal Aid Cuts
19 May 2013: The Times - This is the article where Chris Grayling says that people involved in the Criminal Justice Syatem are too thick to pick their own lawyers.

Top judge warns Government's legal aid reforms could bring meltdown
19 May 2013: Plans to reform legal aid will be “absolutely devastating” for Britain’s legal system and result in dangerous miscarriages of justice, a former senior judge warned last night - The Express

Taxpayer overcharged by millions for electronic tagging
19 May 2013: Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, has launched an urgent investigation into G4S and Serco, the private security operators, after they were found to have been overpaid for running electronic tagging schemes by millions of pounds. These companies like them have expressed an interest in bidding for legal advice contacts under the proposed Ministry of Justice scheme. - The Telegraph
Also see, from the same date Ministry of Justice brings in auditors to investigate tagging contracts - the Guardian.

MPs may get £10k pay rise: But they say: 'It's not snouts in the trough - if you pay peanuts you get monkeys'
19th May 2013: The Daily Mail and see also Sky News here.

Cut-Price Justice: The Government’s attack on Legal Aid must be stopped
17 May 2013 - Ceasefire

We're All Trucked!
14 May 2013: The 'Justice' Secretary's ill-thought-through plans of Legal Aid - Private Eye

Undermine Legal Aid and you put our entire justice system at risk
14 May 2013: Now top legal talent will find the prospect of working in criminal courts less attractive - The Independent

Blur drummer who trained as solicitor attacks government's legal aid plans
11 May 2013: David Rowntree criticises proposals after it emerges Eddie Stobart haulage firm is to bid for contract - The Guardian

Privatised justice is no justice at all
11 May 2013: Nina Power: Chris Grayling's radical changes to legal aid could mean being represented by the same company that jails you - The Guardian

No justice in legal aid changes
9 May 2013: The state will prosecute a man and give him a lawyer from the company that agreed to provide one at the lowest cost. If this was happening in a far-flung nation we would mock it as undemocratic - The Guardian

Legal aid cuts risks damaging civilised society, warns senior judge ...
9 May 2013: Cuts to legal aid risk damaging the “essence of civilised society” the country’s highest judge warned as he said everyone should have access to justice - The Telegraph

Legal aid tendering: will it actually work?
8 May 2013: Joshua Rozenberg: The MoJ's public consultations on legal aid reforms show they are open-minded, but if the aim remains to reduce spending, what about the cost to justice? - The Guardian

Eddie Stobart drives into legal aid row
8 May 2013: Haulage firm arm bids for controversial contracts to provide lawyers in criminal trials amid protests from legal profession - The Guardian

New legal aid reforms end 'justice for all', lawyers warn
28 April 2013: Under plans to save £200m solicitors will be paid fixed fees, with contracts going to firms like G4S - The Independent

Danger alert over legal aid auction
28 April 2013: Controversial legal aid reforms will affect the international reputation of Britain’s courts and the quality of service they provide, ministers have been warned - The Express

It doesn’t take a lawyer to realise this attack on legal aid will have a deleterious effect on justice
28 April 2013: Chris Grayling wants to shave £200m off the legal aid budget. Having made the decision to cut, the law of unintended consequences comes into play - The Independent

Assessing the justice of claims over legal aid cuts
25 Apr 2013: The legal profession believes that client choice is the best way of ensuring standards remain high - The Guardian

How the Ministry of Justice’s proposal for the tendering of criminal legal aid is misconceived and illiberal
23 April 2013: This is a flawed proposal which will have highly damaging effects - The Spectator

High Street solicitors could be forced to close by Government legal aid changes
21 April 2013: More than 1,500 High Street solicitors will be forced to close branches “within a year” if the Government’s controversial legal aid reform plans succeed - The Express

Barrister warns over legal aid cuts
8 April 2013: A leading barrister says cuts in legal aid provision mean that the Government no longer adequately funds the justice system - The Express

Students to lay down a cheaper law
7 April 2013: Law students are being drafted in to help people hit by cuts in legal aid. They will assist with paperwork and offer guidance now funds are no longer available for a wide range of civil matters including divorce and social welfare issues - The Express

Legal aid cuts 'will create advice deserts'
1 Apr 2013: Cutting £350m from legal aid budget will leave vulnerable people struggling to find help, according to survey - The Guardian

Our justice system is being turned into Profit & Growth plc
1 Apr 2013: Sarah Vine: Under Chris Grayling's plans, lawyers will become unit-shifters employed by large corporations - The Guardian

Warning over legal aid changes
1 April 2013Solicitors have warned that people could start "taking the law into their own hands" as changes to legal aid come into force and remove swathes of areas of law from its scope - The Express

Peer's fury as legal aid cuts affect 500,000
29 March 2013: The Government's legal aid reforms coming into effect on Monday have been branded a "day of shame for our legal system" by the former minister and Labour peer Lord Bach - The Independent

Legal aid cuts force closure of almost a third of Shelter offices
11 Mar 2013: Cuts an 'assault on family life' as British Red Cross culls expert advice and while Citizen Advice bureaux make staff redundant - The Guardian

UK law is a booming export but at home crime work doesn't pay
7 Feb 2013: While financial law mushrooms, legal aid cuts are threatening basic access to the system and the future of high street solicitors - The Guardian

The Law Society Gazette
The Law Society Gazette carries numerous articles on the issue, too numerous to list here.


There are articles in 'The Times' however as this is a subscription service they cannot be read without paying for them!
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Contacting your MP
Contacting your MP

You can find out the address and contact details for your MP here:

www.theyworkforyou.com

Write to the Parliamentary Justice Committee

The members of the Committee are:

o Rt Hon Sir Alan Beith (Chair)
o Steve Brine
o Jeremy Corbyn
o Rehman Chishti
o Nick de Bois
o Gareth Johnson
o Rt Hon Elfyn Llwyd
o Seema Malhotra
o Andy McDonald
o Yasmin Qureshi
o Graham Stringer
o Mike Weatherley

They can all be written to at The House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.

Write to the Minister of State for Justice

The Rt Hon. the Lord McNally
House of Lords
London
SW1A 0PW

Write to the Children and Families Minister

Edward Timpson MP

30 Victoria Street The House of Commons
Crewe London
CW1 2JE SW1A 0AA

Enter the name for this tabbed section: Related Issues
Using Big Companies to Provide Legal Services

The Government's plans for the Justice System are underway. They use large companies to provide other services. Take a look at the articles below to see how well that have gone thus far…

Monitoring of Criminals


Probation



Interpreter Service


Enter the name for this tabbed section: Consultation
The Consultation

The Consultation documents can be downloaded here:

https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/transforming-legal-aid

Draft Consultation Response

Below is an early draft Consultation Response, which may be helpful for people wishing to complete the consultation document. It will be updated closer to the submission date which is midnight on 4th June 2013.


Draft MOJ Consultation Response -
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Flyer
Flyer
A flyer setting out a summary of the proposals can be downloaded here.

The Flyer looks like this:


Flyer advertising Save UK Justice Petition -