New ‘army’ of social welfare lawyers ....
Labour to announce plans for hundreds of new social welfare lawyers and a £20m fund to create a new network of People’s Law Centres:
Labour will announce plans for hundreds of new social welfare lawyers to help people living in left behind communities this weekend.
A future Corbyn government would also set up dozens more law centres in areas that have most suffered from Conservative cuts.
They would be occupied by 200 lawyers specialising in areas such as benefits, debt, housing, employment and immigration.
Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon will set out the plans for free legal training, costing £18m, at Labour conference on Sunday.
He will also announce a £20m fund to create a new network of People’s Law Centres, where families can get frontline legal support to, for example, tackle poor landlords or unlawful employment practices.
Labour press release provides further detail’s including -
Community Lawyers… Labour will fund 200 new posts to bring through the next generation of social welfare lawyers. These will be based in specialist social welfare agencies such as Law Centres or other legal aid providers….
People’s Law Centres… These new Law Centres will provide legal education, take on legal casework, represent vulnerable people and campaign for equality under the law…. Over recent months Labour has been working on a blueprint for the future of Law Centres working with experts in the sector. This will be published in the Autumn. It will outline plans for securing existing law centres and boosting their provision with extra staff; and setting up new law centres including special units based in the heart of the community for example in food banks or health clinics.
Update ..... yesterday, Labour confirmed plans for :
- a brand new £20 million fund to create a Golden Era of People’s Law Centres, run by the community for the community
- a new Community Lawyer initiative, providing government-funded training contracts for 200 lawyers to serve their communities
- a Constitutional Convention to look at how to give every citizen a constitutional ‘Right to Justice’ as called for by the Bach Report into Access to Justice.
- reversal of all the Conservative cuts to legal aid-funded Early Legal Help within the first 100 days of a Labour government ...
- a ‘root and branch review’ of the Legal Aid Agency chaired by former Legal Action Group director Steve Hynes.
Funding for advice sectors staffed by skilled advisers (who are not lawyers) would also be welcome.
Here’s more on the ‘root-and-branch’ review of the Legal Aid Agency from the Law Society Gazette: