Research and Policy
The National Audit Office have reported on HMCTS progress against their court reform proposals.
Margaret Hagen, Lecturer at Stanford Law School and Director of Stanford Legal Design Lab has produced a paper with suggestions on how courts may make themselves more usable for litigants in person.
Rachel Braverman introduces the work of Money and Mental Health, a charity committed to breaking the link between financial difficulty and mental health problems.
For anyone interested in trying to tell their story using maps, Alison Davis-Holland, GIS/Data Manager at the Self-Represented Litigation Network in the US, has written an article explaining how to use effective symbology to make a powerful first impression.
Nationwide survey of debt advisers looking to inform policy-making and develop new solutions
The report ‘Meeting the information needs of litigants in person’, commissioned by the Civil Justice Council from Law for Life’s Advicenow team followed the 2011 Civil Justice Council report ‘Access to Justice for Litigants in Person’. The report makes three key recommendations: - Put litigants in person at the centre of legal information production, - Fill topic gaps by producing effective LiP focused materials, - Build the capacity and expertise of those involved in producing public legal information. It includes a practical quick start guide on how to produce LIP-centred public legal information, drawing on best practice and lessons from other sectors and jurisdictions. Also interesting for many will be the individual survey responses from judges and litigants in person contained in the appendices. Law for Life welcomes feedback on the report and suggestions for future additions. You can get in touch here: https://www.advicenow.org.uk/contact
Rights without remedies: legal aid and access to justice for children - report from Coram Children’s Legal Centre
Since the measures in the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) came into force in April 2013, at least 6,000 children each year have been left without access to free legal advice and representation in many areas of civil law – some estimates are as high as 15,000...
Global Insights on Access to Justice: Findings from the World Justice Project General Population Poll in 45 Countries
New report from the Global Justice Project: "Global Insights on Access to Justice" is the first-ever effort to capture comparable data on legal needs and public access to civil justice on a global scale, representing the voices of more than 46,000 people in 45 countries.
Roger Smith has produced a report, commissioned by The Legal Education Foundation (TLEF), entitled "Digital Delivery of Legal Services to People on Low Incomes". TLEF Chairman, Guy Beringer, says "We hope that the Report will stimulate others to let us know of advances that they are making or are aware of others making in this important area of using information technology to provide low cost legal service to people. These developments are not a magic bullet but taken together they can make a difference to the lives of a lot of people. We intend to update the Report on an annual basis as a record of developments in the provision of IT based legal service.”
(December 2017) Please click here to see a specially prepared updated from HMCTS on their £1bn reform programme. In this update, HMCTS have set out by jurisdiction some of the key things they have already done and some of the things you can expect to see over the next 18 months.
(Author: Richard Grimes, Editorial Board member, International Journal of Public Legal Education) Access to justice is not just about being able to find and afford a lawyer. Being aware of rights (and responsibilities) is an important component of the A2J debate. Legal literacy is vitally important both in terms of recognising problems and knowing what to do and where to go.
Trust for London’s 2017 edition of the London Poverty Profile has been released and its’ website has been re-vamped so that all of the latest data on poverty and inequality in London can be found in an easy and readable form. This may be useful for agencies making funding applications. KEY FINDINGS: 27% of Londoners are living in poverty (after housing costs); 50% of London's wealth is owned by the top 10%. 58% of Londoners in poverty live in a working family. This is a 50% increase over the last decade.
(Author Lizzie Irons, Head of Service, the Personal Support Unit) As we head into the autumn, we are taking stock, with each PSU writing a progress report for April to September 2017. The most surprising news is not the overall increase in client contacts over the period, but the fact that for over a third of our services (8 of 21) recorded client contacts peaked in August, reaching the highest client contact figures to date. Gone are the days when the summer represented a dip in workload and a short breathing space.
(22nd September 2017) Our criminal justice system is fiercesomely complicated – so complex that the Law Commission has proposed a massive simplification of criminal law...Read more.
(Author: Ella Playfair, National Pro Bono Week Committee) The dates of this year’s NPBW are confirmed as Monday 6 – Saturday 11 November, and for the first time we have added spotlights on the themes of health and education issues and how they interrelate with pro bono.
LawWorks have been working with stakeholders and partners to present compelling evidence to the new Justice Select Committee as part of the overall review process considering legal aid reforms. The stakeholder group has included Advice UK, the Advice Services Alliance, Coram Children's Legal Centre, Mind, JustRights, Legal Aid Practitioners Group, Law Centres Network, the Legal Action Group, London Legal Support Trust, the Personal Support Unit, Youth Access, the Bar Council, and the Immigration Practitioners Group.
(September 2017) The Legal Action Group have published a summary of The UK government’s position on migration post-Brexit as set out in its policy paper.
Universal Credit is the biggest change ever made to the benefits system. By 2022, more than 7 million households will be receiving it, over half of whom will be in work. The aim of Universal Credit - to simplify the benefit system - is right. But it is currently failing too many people and forcing many into debt. Universal Credit is currently being rolled out across the country, but this process is set to accelerate from October 2017. Citizens Advice has already helped 47,000 people with Universal Credit and our evidence reveals a number of problems which need to be addressed. If roll-out is not paused to allow this to happen, 7 million households face financial risk. Summary & full report available here.
Following the “Transforming our justice system” White Paper in September 2016, plans for a new Online Court are underway. HMCTS’ reform programme aims to streamline a number of different services online and provide more accessible ways for non-lawyers to commence and respond to claims. Moving proceedings online will especially impact the civil courts, where the number of litigants in person has risen sharply.
UKAJI Research Roadmap – where have we been and where do we need to go with research on administrative justice?
Since starting work nearly three years ago, UKAJI’s primary tasks have been to bring together researchers, research users, policy makers, practitioners, and others to encourage more empirically based research into administrative justice and to design an agenda for future research. This blog post summarises their consultation paper, which results from that engagement. Responses to the consultation will contribute to the research roadmap they will propose for future research needs in administrative justice.