APPG on Legal Aid’s Westminster Commission on the Sustainability of Legal Aid

14 October 2020

The APPG Inquiry into Sustainability of Legal Aid is now gathering steam, with the first of 6 oral evidence sessions taking place on Thursday 29 October 2020, 10:00-12:30. This will be a live event, with expert witnesses from the world of Criminal Legal Aid giving evidence to the APPG’s cross-party panel of MPs and Lords. Register here to watch the first oral evidence session on Criminal Legal Aid. Witnesses will include:
  • Joanna Hardy, Red Lion Chambers
  • Rakesh Bhasin, Edwards Duthie Shamash Solicitors and LCCSA
  • Kerry Hudson, Bullivant Law and LCCSA
  • Bill Waddington, Williamsons Solicitors and CLSA                          
  • Anthony Graham, Amosu Robinshaw Solicitors and BSN
  • Richard Miller, Head of Justice, The Law Society
  • Laura Janes, Howard League for Penal Reform, prison law specialist                    
Witnesses will be invited to give evidence on a broad range of issues, such as fees, diversity and inclusion within the profession and the role of legal aid lawyers within the criminal justice system. The oral evidence sessions will enable the Panel to examine expert witnesses from across the legal aid sector to establish the key issues undermining the sustainability of legal aid organisations.  An analysis of this evidence will then be combined with the results of an extensive workforce survey, the recent LAPG mental health and wellbeing survey, and recent academic research, to enable to Commission to present a set of recommendations to the government. The Commission firmly believes that without this level of analysis, based on comprehensive qualitative and quantitative data, government policy will not address the fundamental weaknesses in the current system. The Panel will consist of Chair Karen Buck MP, Dame Helena Kennedy, Lord Willy Bach, Lord Colin Low, Gareth Bacon MP, James Daly MP and Andy Slaughter MP.  Legal Aid Minister Alex Chalk MP, Shadow Legal Aid Minister Karl Turner MP and senior members of the MOJ will be in attendance in an observational capacity. Book your free place here. The other sessions that will make up the Inquiry are:
  • Family Legal Aid – 19 November 202
  • Civil Legal Aid – 17 December 2020
  • Experiences of the Publicly Funded Bar – January 2021 – date TBC
  • Access to Justice – February 2021 – date TBC
  • Diversity and Routes into the Profession – March 2021 – date TBC
For more information on the evidence sessions, the APPG Inquiry and the comprehensive workforce survey, please email