Open letter to Minister from NGOs expresses concern over LASPO review

Published: April 5 2018

Open letter to Minister from NGOs expresses concern over LASPO review

PLP has signed an open letter to the Minister for Legal Aid expressing concern at the methodology for the long-awaited Post-Implementation Review of the LASPO reforms to legal aid.  The letter is here.  Neither PLP nor any of the other civil society signatories to the letter has been invited to join any of the four consultative groups established by the Ministry to inform the review. PLP is also concerned about the lack of transparency about who has been invited to join the groups, and the lack of any clear route for other stakeholders to provide information and evidence to the review.   The signatories to the letter have called on the Minister to urgently:

 (1) Publish the names of the organisations who have been invited to participate in each of the four consultative groups;

(2) Explain how the decision was made as to which organisations would be invited to join those groups and which would not;

(3) Set out when and how other stakeholders who have not been invited to join the consultative groups will be able to provide evidence and submissions to the Review;

(4) Explain what form the “Individual engagement between MoJ officials and interested parties who wish to provide data and evidence” will take;

(5) Clarify whether the email address published in the 8 March 2018 announcement (lasporeviewmoj@justice.gsi.gov.uk) is the “route by which interested parties are able to submit data and evidence to MoJ officials for consideration” and if so whether there is any date by which such data and evidence needs to be submitted in order to be taken into consideration.

As well as PLP the letter has been signed by Amnesty International UK, the Association of Lawyers for Children, the Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit, the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association, JustRights, Rights of Women, Youth Access, and the Zacchaeus 2000 Trust.

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