Latest headlines

Media roundup – legal aid cuts and Jackson round 2

Perhaps the most interesting angle comes from the Telegraph, which given its propensity to tackle MPs’ expenses claims, points out that they’ll no longer be able to get help defending themselves.

Justice Minister Kenneth Clarke went straight to the top of the news bulletins yesterday afternoon, as the government unveiled proposals to cut £350m from legal aid budgets and a second consultation into the Jackson report.  

It seems the Legal Action Group’s survey late last week fell on deaf ears and free legal advice is living on borrowed time. Kenneth Clarke delivered his address to the commons yesterday and the BBC has produced a useful overview of the announcement, although the mainstream media’s focus is primarily on the legal aid portion of the MOJ’s plan. Perhaps the most interesting angle comes from the Telegraph, which given its propensity to tackle MPs’ expenses claims, points out that they’ll no longer be able to get help defending themselves.

Radio 4 spent the vast majority of its air time re-quoting Law Society CEO Des Hudson’s question to Mr Clarke, “what if you are not rich or mighty? How will you get access to justice?” he said.

The Minister’s response was to point out what seems like an opportunity for the private sector and presumably legal expenses insurers. Mr Clarke answered that no-win-no-fee will apply in certain circumstances to those areas abandoned by civil legal aid under the proposals, namely divorce; clinical negligence and certain types of employment claims.

On the second issue of costs in civil litigation, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers was quick to get its point of view across. The lion’s share of coverage from the insurance trade press revolves around Clarke’s fellow justice minister Jonathan Djanogly and his statement on costs recoverability. Insurance Times explains the key proposal to abolish recoverability on CFAs with interested parties invited to get their ten cents worth to the MOJ no later than Valentine’s Day 2011.

About Ralph Savage (138 Articles)
Insurance and legal journalist Ralph Savage has written extensively for the financial and professional services sectors, most notably as News Editor of Post Magazine. He ghost writes regularly on behalf of FTSE 250 CEOs, leading counsel and senior professionals including solicitors, insurers, accountants and brokers.

1 Comment on Media roundup – legal aid cuts and Jackson round 2

  1. It seems that following Kenneth Clarke’s announcement, the UK is slipping ever faster into an American culture of legality and law where money talks, what ever the true position.

    This is a sad day for British culture as we follow a truly crocked and corrupt US approach to justice – if indeed it can ever be called that. The US system is turning in on itself ad becoming ever more inward facing, choosing where possible to avoid the scrutiny of overseas judicial process in the knowledge of its own bias, inability to follow rules of procedure and general corruption.

    The UK should actively try to avoid this route as it would take years and millions of pounds to reverse should that become necessary. The US is a classic example of why this approach does not work and the utility of Legal Aid was one aspect that separated the UK from this incredulous and ‘greed driven’ approach.

    Be warned, the “UK of A” is fast approaching. Civil rights, liberties and justice are on their way out… will the last person to leave please turn the lights off…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: