Share experience and expertise, find out about resources, projects and developments and signpost others to yours.
Amnesty report: ‘Cuts to legal aid have ‘decimated access to justice’ for thousands of the most vulnerable’
The 48-page report 'Cuts That Hurt' exposes the impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) which came into force on 1 April 2013 and imposed wholesale changes to the legal aid system for family and other areas of civil law in England and Wales. The report warns that the reduction in access to justice is far worse than anticipated, and calls for the government to urgently launch a comprehensive review into the effects of the changes, which it has not yet undertaken despite having committed to doing so.
Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) can be applied for in any area of law where neither civil nor criminal legal aid is available, including immigration, family and employment cases. It is possible to apply for ECF without a solicitor’s help. Doing so is not easy but it is not impossible. This guide is intended to help LIPs work out if this is something they want to do. It will hopefully also help LIPs apply successfully, but it is only an introduction and cannot answer every problem that might be faced.
Information on the ATJF's criteria and preferences regarding applications for funding. The trustees generally expect to hold two grants rounds a year with deadlines in November/December and February/March. Each round will be announced on the Foundation’s website. Please note that these distribution principles are subject to the discretion of the trustees and may be changed at any time. The current version will be published on the Foundation’s website. The trustees do not accept any duty or liability to any person seeking funding.
The Litigant in Person Judicial Engagement Group provides the HMCTS Reform Programme with views from the advice and pro bono sectors in the development of the HMCTS reform programme. The Group covers the Civil, Family and Tribunal jurisdictions and is mindful of the increasing number of LIPs in criminal courts.
Advicenow have created a series of easy-to-use step-by-step guides for people struggling to deal with family issues. Mary Marvel, Head of Policy and Communications at Law for Life, explains how the guides work and where to find them.
RCJ Advice are pleased to have developed and started a new online triage and self-booking service which enables clients to book their own appointments online at a time that suits them within availability.
For anyone interested in volunteering at RCJ advice we have an “about us” brochure for information on roles available and a standard application form. RCJ Advice is a unique Citizens Advice service covering legal services in the Royal Courts of Justice and Central London Family Court and deliver Citizens Advice Islington. We are able to provide a wide range of volunteer experience.
The Legal Choices website has been put together by the legal regulators and is designed to help members of the public in finding and dealing with lawyers. The website contains information of a general nature to help consumers on a range of legal issues. Legal Choices also explains the differences between barristers, solicitors and other types of lawyers and how they help the public with different aspects of the legal system.
In civil cases, pro bono cost orders are paid to the Access to Justice Foundation under s.194 Legal Services Act 2007. The recent introduction of the Pro Bono Passport aims to make the process of claiming vital legal costs easier by encouraging individuals and legal advisers to record hours spent on cases, enabling an accurate claim for pro bono costs to be made. For more information, email email@example.com
Make Our Rights Reality (MORR) is a national project from Youth Access which teaches young people about their rights and gives them a voice to challenge injustice.
This article by Amnesty International, published in Open Democracy, summarises Amnesty’s yearlong research into the impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) on access to justice in the UK.
New PSU services in 2016 include Bournemouth, Chester, Newport and West London Family Court: these services are currently part-time, and opening hours vary, so please check the PSU website for details.
Here is a Legal Aid calculator offered by a firm in West Yorkshire which Leeds Personal Support Unit find helpful for clients.
Assisting a Litigant in Person facing an employment tribunal? A Network member has recommended this book, which explains the whole process in clear plain language.
The Welsh Government has just published an Information and Advice Plan, working together with the National Advice Network and others. It sets out how they aspire to work together to improve access to the quality assured services which people need. Published December 2016.
The Bar Standards Board has developed a comprehensive guide for consumers about what to expect from a barrister. ‘Using a barrister’ features useful information to help consumers understand what a barrister is, what they do and how they may be able to help.
Judi Lincoln, Advice & Volunteer Manager at the Norfolk Community Law Service tells us about their Family Court Support Service (FCSS) for private law, child contact matters.