EVENT: The JusticeGap together with Hackney Community Law Centre (HCLC) is hosting a debate at the House of Commons on the role of the advice sector in communities in the context of forthcoming legal aid cuts.
The debate will be chaired by Jon Robins, HCLC Patron and editor of the www.thejusticegap.com.
The panelists include:
- Diane Abbott, HCLC Patron and MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, and shadow health minister
- Lord Willy Bach, the former justice secretary who led the opposition to LASPO in the Lords
- Sir Geoffrey Bindman, human rights solicitor and founder of Bindmans LLP
- Matthew Ryder QC, Matrix Chambers
- Roger Smith, Director of Justice
‘I genuinely believe “access to justice” is the hallmark of a civilised society.’ It was with those words that the justice secretary, Ken Clarke, introduced his government’s legal aid reforms.
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act promises to slash £350m from a £2.1bn budget – the cuts start in April 2013. It will achieve this by removing large swathes of social welfare law – housing, welfare benefits, employment and immigration – and family advice.
In the context of the LASPO cuts:
- What do we mean by ‘access to justice’?
- Is the law for the rich?
- What future is there for the legal advice sector and their largely poor and vulnerable clients?
- Are local communities like Hackney getting the justice they deserve?
Join us on Thursday July 12th 2012 at 6.30pm in Committee Room 15 in the main Palace of Westminster to debate these important issues.
Please reserve your place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets are limited – only two tickets per applicant.
Jon is editor of www.thejusticegap.com. He is a freelance journalist. Jon's books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009 – with Steve Hynes) and People Power: how to run a campaign (Daily Telegraph and LawPack, 2008). Jon is a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln and a patron of Hackney Community Law Centre. He won the Bar Council's legal reporting award in 2015 and previously in 2005.