I was delighted to participate in a recent roundtable discussion on the future of Legal Aid. The roundtable, which was organised by the Justice Alliance and chaired by Guardian journalist Shiv Malik, will be turned into a feature in a special edition of the Justice Gap‘s Proof Magazine. The issue will focus entirely on legal aid.
Other participants at the roundtable included Richard Burgon MP, the Shadow Justice Secretary; Greg Powell, solicitor and former president of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association; Deborah Coles, Director of Inquest; Vakas Hussain, barrister and press officer of British Muslim Youth; and Gloria Morrison from campaign group Joint Enterprise Not Guilty By Association (JENGbA).
The discussion was excellent. Everyone who contributed had a professional or campaign interest in legal aid but it was clear that they also cared deeply about access to justice issues on a personal level. It was an real honour to be invited to take part and be in such esteemed company.
The first two issues of Proof Magazine have focused on ‘Justice in a Time of Moral Panic‘ and ‘The Limits of Open Justice‘. The special issue on legal aid will be published shortly. It promises to be a informative and long overdue read.
I had a brilliant time in Belfast attending the Law Centres Network annual conference, which took place on the 10th and 11th of November 2016. The conference heard from a range of distinguished speakers including Martha Spurrier, Director of Liberty; Les Allamby, the Chief Commissioner for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and Claire Sugden, the Northern Ireland Justice Minister. The highlight of my trip was visiting Stormont Castle for the official dinner. Stormont is the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the place where the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998. A stunning building!
I’ve written an article for the October edition of Labour Briefing about Legal Aid, Access to Justice and what I think the Labour Party should be doing on these issues. You can read the article HERE.
My latest Legal Voice column has now been published. This one’s about using digital methods of delivering advice to help combat the loss of privacy, loss of dignity and stigma felt by many advice seekers. You can read the piece HERE.
I have written an article for Media Diversified about the crowdfunding campaign I am working on for The Justice Gap and The Justice Alliance. We are campaigning to fund a special one-off magazine that will tell the definitive story of legal aid. You can read my article for Media Diversified HERE.