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Legal Aid: Civil news and updates

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shawn mach
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Here are the new ‘Legal Aid for Separated Children’ regs:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/1396/made

shawn mach
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Update to this page (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-legal-aid-services-from-september-2019) says -

We have published the outcome of the recent tenders for the 2018 Standard Civil Contracts from 1 September 2019 for:

• Specialist Telephone Advice services in the categories of Housing and Debt, Education and Discrimination
• Face to Face legal services in the categories of Education and Discrimination

However, I can only see the outcome for education and discrimination services ...

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/846597/2018_Standard_Civil_Contract_-_Education_and_Discrimination_Services_from_1_September_2019__Tender_outcome.pdf

shawn mach
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The Legal Aid Agency has issued a new invitation to submit an Expression of Interest to deliver the Willesden Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/850668/Willesden_HPCDS_EOI_notice.pdf

Stuart
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An older case recently added to bailii which may be of interest, the Court of Session in Glasgow CC v The Scottish Legal Aid Board and PQ {2017} CSOH 155 quashed a decision to grant legal aid to challenge a community care decision in Scotland on grounds including that the claimant (PQ) did not give fair notice of the case to the council when requested -

To do so would have presented no difficulty. He had to inform the Board about the proposed grounds of appeal. Otherwise it could not have decided the application. He should have given the same information to GCC. That would not have involved any breach of confidentiality. If the relevant information was contained in a legal opinion that also contained views about the prospects, PQ could have excerpted the relevant parts or redacted the confidential parts.[35]    I wish to emphasise that fairness also applies at the review stage. That is because the specific duties imposed on a decision-maker by legislation may be minimum requirements …

I conclude that the Board should have told PQ that it was not prepared to consider his application until he provided sufficient notice of the case to GCC. The Board has a general power to do anything which it considers necessary or expedient for securing the provision of legal aid: section 2 of the Act. It can specify the form of initial and review applications: Regulations 5 and 20.’

shawn mach
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HPCDS opportunity for 2018 standard contract holders ....

We are inviting tenders from 2018 Standard Civil Contract holders currently delivering housing and debt services to deliver Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme (HPCDS) services in Boston and Lincoln.

This opportunity is open to all 2018 Standard Civil Contract holders currently delivering housing and debt services, and is not limited to current HPCDS providers.

Closes 6 February 2020.

More: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/civil-news-hpcds-opportunity-for-2018-standard-contract-holders

 

shawn mach
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From the LAA:

We have a new customer service Twitter account (https://twitter.com/LAAHelpTeam) to give providers another channel to raise operational concerns ...

LAA Chief Executive Jane Harbottle said: “This provides an alternative way for providers to tap into the expertise of our customer services team ....”

More: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/civilcrime-news-twitter-customer-service-feed-for-providers

 

shawn mach
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A couple of bits and pieces from Hansard ...

Justice Minister Wendy Morton yesterday:

‘We are in the process of launching a series of pilots offering support to people with social welfare problems such as housing ... we believe in access to justice, particularly early legal support for those people who absolutely need it. We have pilots, and the innovation fund is being introduced. The Government remain firmly committed to helping those people who need early legal support and legal advice ..

Link: Hansard: 14 January 2020

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland re the proposed ‘Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission’:

No decisions have been made yet on the appointment of such a body, its scope or composition ... I would envisage the body taking evidence from third parties, outside organisations and civic society more generally to provide a thorough evidence base before any recommendations are made ...  I am already having a number of discussions with ministerial colleagues and thinking very deeply about the range of expertise and individuals that we need, and the diversity of that panel, so that we make sure that the commission is in the best possible place to gather evidence and come up with measured, sensible reforms.

Link: Hansard: 14 January 2020

 

shawn mach
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Latest minutes from the Civil Contracts Consultative Group are available:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/contracts-consultative-groups