London School of Economics Monday 20 May 2013, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, 6.30 – 8.30 pm
Chair: Professor Conor Gearty LSE
What do the government’s legal aid proposals mean for access to justice and the rule of law? This meeting, which is being organised by LSE with the support of Matrix Chambers, will consider the proposals for civil legal aid and public law, set out in the consultation paper Transforming legal aid: delivering a more credible and efficient system. It is aimed at all those with an interest in the proper functioning of the public law system, including politicians, judges, academics, solicitors, barristers, client groups, and the media. It will look in particular at cases that will not be capable of being brought under the new proposals, whether because they will fail the proposed residence test (which would exclude a great many of the major cases of the last few years) or the prison law scope test; but it will also and more generally assess the viability of specialist public law practice in the future.
All this and more will be considered by our panel and audience. The meeting will be informal and town-hall-like in its approach. We expect a number of people to come and go: the London Legal Walk finishes nearby and walkers are particularly welcome to join afterwards.
Confirmed speakers so far include Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Steve Hynes (LAG), Michael Fordham QC, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff (President of the Law Society), Nathalie Lieven QC, Simon Creighton (Bhatt Murphy, dealing with the prison aspects of the reforms), Polly Glynn (Deighton Pierce Glynn, dealing with the social welfare implications), and Nick Armstrong (Matrix, and a specialist not just in public law but in legal aid and its regulation).
More speakers are being added all the time, and we expect a full and perhaps heated debate. Chris Grayling, the Lord Chancellor, and his team are invited, as well as other parliamentarians and judges.
It is an open meeting and all are welcome. It would however be very helpful, in order to let us gauge interest, if those who are intending to come would confirm on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further information and debate will also be available via Twitter: see @conorgearty for Prof Gearty, and @njbarmstrong for Nick Armstrong. The consultation may be accessed here: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/transforming-legal-aid.
A map showing the New Academic Building is here: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/mapsAndDirections/findingYourWayAroundLSE.aspx.