The sun came out, went away again and, at the time of writing, came back; but there is very little sunshine in the life of the criminal legal aid lawyer at the moment, with the Legal Services Commission presiding over late payment under the litigators? graduated fee scheme, a backlog of over 4,000 legal aid applications at Havering and the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.

LCCSA president Malcolm Duxbury has responded to the first two of these difficulties with a series of actions, including writing to the minister Jonathan Djanogly. I was delighted to see Paul Harris (past president) speaking on Channel 4 news about the problems at Havering, following committee members taking the fight to a wider audience via their media contacts. Click

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