As you may have seen, a fresh amendment led by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson aimed at keeping children’s cases in the scope of legal aid was defeated late last night. It was scheduled for the very end of the debate in the House of Lords, making a favourable vote highly unlikely.
Unfortunately, this means that the issue is now lost. This is obviously very disappointing news to all of us who have been campaigning hard on the LASPO Bill over many months and it’s a disaster for the 75,000 children and young people who will lose access to legal aid each year that we weren’t ultimately successful in securing amendments to the Bill. However, many small victories have been achieved along the way – we will try to summarise what we think these have been once we’ve had time to reflect on recent events.
We should stress that this is not the end of the JustRights campaign, which was established well before the Legal Aid Bill came along and will continue to lobby for improvements in children and young people’s access to legal advice and representation. We have already started the process of considering the campaign’s next steps and will be in touch again soon to seek your ideas and interest in remaining involved.
Thanks again for all your support!
James, Mandy and Kate