The Law Society’s Judicial Review of the government’s implementation of the Bellamy report, in which we are an interested party, has reached an important stage. The MoJ yesterday served their detailed grounds of resistance to the claim, crystallizing the issues in the case.
In summary, we argue that the MoJ’s failure to implement the 15% legal aid fee increase recommended by the Bellamy report is unlawful, given that it was expressed as the bare minimum required to start nursing the system back to health. We also argue that the MoJ has failed to follow the recommendations in the Bellamy report in relation to the interventions that are required in order to address the issue of unmet need in areas where there are so few criminal legal aid providers that there is a risk of market failure.
In order to support our case, we need to gather witness statements from those who are at the sharp end of the government’s continued failures to properly fund criminal legal aid – namely, you, our members.
Please see the Pro-forma witness statement | Lccsa for a copy of the pro-forma witness statement for you to complete containing a series of questions that are intended to act as a guide to the information that we believe it would be most helpful to place before the court. We do not propose that every question be answered systematically, merely that you use the questions as a guide to the topics that should be addressed in your statements.
If you are minded to draft a statement for us, and we as a committee would be extremely grateful if you could, please send your completed and signed statement to firstname.lastname@example.org by 14:00 on Monday 11th September 2023.
The deadline for service of our evidence on the court is 4 pm on 18th September 2023 and we will need some time to collate the responses.