Access to Justice

The Justice Committee, Chaired by Sir Alan Beith has launched an inquiry on Access to Justice and Sentencing Proposals.

On 15 December 2010, the Committee will question the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke MP QC, on the court closure programme and the proposed reforms to legal aid and sentencing.

On 15 November 2010, the Ministry of Justice launched Green Papers on the provision of legal aid and the implementation of the Jackson review on civil litigation funding and costs that seek to effect a “fundamental reform of the system”.

The Committee is inviting written evidence with particular reference to the questions set out below, by 6 December 2010.

  •  What impact will the proposed changes have on the number and quality of practitioners, in all areas of law, who offer services funded by legal aid? 
  • The Government predicts that there will be 500,00 fewer cases in the civil courts as a result of its proposed reforms. Which cases will these be and how will the issues they involve be resolved? 
  • What action could the Government be taking on legal aid that is not included in the proposals (for example, on Very High Cost Cases)? 
  • Do the proposals to implement the Jackson report recommendations on civil court funding and costs adequately reflect the contents of that report? 
  • What are the implications of the Government’s proposals?

It is anticipated that the Government’s proposals on sentencing and rehabilitation and the administration’s response to the consultation on court closures will be released before the Secretary of State appears before the Committee.

The Committee would also welcome written evidence on these proposals once they are released. 





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