CRIMINAL LAW SOLICITORS' ASSOCIATION

CLSA Guide to Responding to the Transforming Legal Aid Crime Duty Contracts consultation. (Ends on 15th October 2014)

Issued 02 October 2014

Click here to download a copy      

1. The CLSA with our friends and allies the LCCSA have developed a ‘Response Hub’ to safeguard the integrity of the MOJ process. The MOJ have recently been adjudged by the High Court to have acted ‘unfairly and illegally’ in conducting a consultation that threatens to wipe out the profession and we are not taking any chances with this hard fought for consultation. The responses will, we hope, secure the victory that was won by the stunning court victory by the associations in the judicial review. It depends upon you. If you respond in numbers we shall prevail. The Associations won the JR so now you need to win the consultation by responding.

2. The MOJ’s position that they are not consulting on the principle of ‘Two Tier’ is simply untenable and will be blown away by you if you take the trouble to respond. Why do I say that? Because the Lord Chancellor made it clear through his Counsel that he distanced himself from the view of civil servants that the profession’s views would not have changed his assumptions (and thus the principle of two tiers, if assumptions were shown to make 2 tiers untenable). See paragraph 50 of the Judgement.  The MOJ should have read that before they wrote the terms of this consultation! It is disrespectful to the judicial process to now say the principle has already been consulted upon when the court has already ruled that was an unfair and illegal consultation (for deciding upon the principle without consulting properly). We simply will not stand for this irrational position of the MOJ.

3. The Response Hub is a place where you can respond and avoid the manipulation of the figures by those who wish to downplay the number of hostile responses. Here are the benefits of using this site:

a)    You may respond to the consultation safely in the knowledge that we will track it for you, based upon your unique e mail address, pass it on to the MOJ in both electronic form but also we will print this for you and deliver the hard copy by hand.

b)    The Response Hub will automatically forward an e mail from you to the MOJ attaching a PDF format version of your response. No one else will see the contents save for our admin support at the associations. The MOJ normally will send an ‘auto acknowledgment’ direct to your e mail address. To provide reassurance that you have delivered the response to the MOJ we will also send you an auto acknowledgment saying ‘Thank you for submitting your response to this important consultation. This will be delivered by hand to MOJ before the deadline, and a copy has also been emailed to Legal Aid Reform MoJ @ justice. gsi. gov. etc’

c)    The Response Hub also has collated all the relevant reports conveniently for you read before answering the questionnaire. All the MOJ questions are there but as these are deliberately vague and bland we also have placed additional multi choice questions on the reports contents that we felt you would want to use to capture your views in a simple but targeted way difficult to ignore due to the format.

d)      The CLSA also provide ‘Hints’ based upon our close study of the reports which we intend to be helpful but please feel free to ignore these. It is your response not ours. 

e)    The ‘Hub’ will allow us to see the geographical flows of responses and enable us to canvass people who have not apparently yet responded.   We need you in your droves to add ‘weight’ to this fight. Using the hub to respond will enable us to ensure there is no distortion of numbers by the MOJ as we at least will know that you responded and what you said.

f)     It does the impossible and makes the serious business of responding simple and close to a straight forward and pleasurable experience. 

We have destroyed the MOJ in the JR. We delivered a win for the profession and showed that with courage and determination bullying Ministries can be forced to act fairly. Now it is up to you. Save access to justice and client choice. Almost a case of ‘respond or die’!  Encourage all your colleagues, other solicitors, Counsel, employees and family and friends to respond individually. We did not choose to fight them. It was the MOJ who advanced to this battle field but once again we shall meet them and make them sorry they came.

Respond here. https://www.lccsa.org.uk/transforming-legal-aid-crime-duty-contracts-consultation/

Show them how defence Lawyers fight!

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