Legislation and lobbying

The Bar Council works hard, in the public interest, to engage with Parliament and the Government on legislation and on other issues which impact on the administration of justice.

Ministry of Justice consultations on legal aid

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) published its 164-page consultation paper entitled 'Transforming legal aid: delivering a more credible and efficient system' on 9 April 2013. Over 16,000 responses were submitted by the closing date of 4 June 2013.

The MoJ released a second consultation on 5 September 2013 entitled 'Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps' which closed on 1 November 2013. The results of this consultation were published on 27 February.

The Bar Council's response is below, alongside the raft of communications which were sent out.

Bar Chairman Welcomes "A Viable Pathway for the Criminal Justice System"

Letter from the Lord Chancellor to the Bar on legal aid announcement

Bar Council Chairman: Unsustainable and unnecessary legal aid cuts confirm our worst fears

Government's response to the 'Transforming Legal Aid' consultation - Thursday 27 February

Chariman's letter to the Joint Commitee on Statutory Instruments on civil legal aid Funding Order - 19 November

Chariman's letter to the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Committee on civil legal aid Funding Order - 19 November

Chariman's letter to the Joint Commitee on Stautory Instruments on Very High Cost Cases Funding Order - 8 November

Chariman's letter to the House of Lords Secondary Legisation Scrutiny Commitee on Very High Cost Cases Funding Order - 8 November

Bar Council publishes full response to 'Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps' - 1 November

Bar Council responds to legal aid consultation - 1 November

Treasury Council responds to legal aid consultation - 1 November

Midlands Circuit responds to legal aid consultation - 1 November

Western Circuit responds to legal aid consultation, please read in association with Annex A, Annex B and Annex C - 1 November

Bar Council statement on alternative PCT proposals - 2 July

The Bar Council welcomes Government's recognition of choice in legal aid - 1 July

Transforming Legal Aid consultation responses - 1 July

Legal Aid Question Time video - 18 June

Legal Aid Question Time press release - 18 June 

Bar Council Chairman: We will not facilitate a scheme which will wreck the criminal justice system - 5 June

The Bar Council response to MoJ Transforming Legal Aid consultation - 4 June

Bar Council responds to legal aid consultation, warning planned reforms are: "A legacy of which no Government should be proud" - 4 June

Update from the Chairman: Don't believe everything you read. The public values legal aid. We need to fight to save it. - 21 May

Press release: 7 out of 10 of the British public fear legal aid cuts will lead to injustice - new poll - 21 May

Update from the Chairman - write to your MP - 7 May

Legal Aid Consultation Paper - Bar Council Core Case - 7 May

Amends to original consultation paper (issued 9 April) - 30 April

Update from the Chairman - 23 April

Legal aid consultation: summary of proposals - 19 April

Update from the Chairman - 12 April

Update from the Chairman - 9 April

Bar Council responds to MoJ legal aid announcements - 9 April

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill entered Parliament on 21 June 2011, and proposed the most far-reaching changes to legal aid since it was introduced as an essential pillar of the welfare state in 1949. It also proposed changes to civil litigation funding, drawing on the recommendations of Lord Justice Jackson, and to sentencing and the use of prisons.

Please click on the links below to read the Bar Council's briefings on the Bill and other related documents.

Access Denied - The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill: The case for amendment

The Manifesto for Family Justice: produced by the Bar Council as part of a coalition of organisations

The Bar Council's briefing for MPs for the House of Commons' consideration of the Lords' amendments

The Bar Council's briefing for Peers for the Third Reading of the Bill

The Bar Council's briefing for Peers for the Report Stage of the Bill

The Bar Council's briefing for Peers on Part 3 of the Bill (sentencing)

The Bar Council's briefing for Peers on unfreezing restrained assets and Defendant Costs Orders

The Bar Council's brieding for Peers on Part 2 of the Bill: alternative proposals for the reform of civil litigation funding

The Bar Council's briefing for Peers on amendments to Part 1 of the Bill

The Bar Council's briefing for Peers for the Bill's Second Reading in the House of Lords

The Bar Council's briefing for MPs for the Bill's Report Stage in the House of Commons

The Bar Council's briefing for MPs on amendments to Part 3 of the Bill (sentencing)

The Bar Council's briefing for MPs on amendments to Parts 1 and 2 of the Bill (legal aid and civil litigation funding)

Transcript of 2011 Chairman of the Bar, Peter Lodder QC, giving evidence to the Public Bill Committtee on 12 July 2011

The Bar Council's Memorandum of Evidence for the Public Bill Committee

The Bar Council's briefing for MPs on the Bill's Second Reading in the House of Commons

Response of the Bar Council of England & Wales to the Consultation Paper CP12/10: Proposals for the Reform of Legal Aid in England and Wales    

Response of the Bar Council of England & Wales to the Consultation Paper CP13/10: Proposals for the Reform of Civil Litigation Funding and Costs in England and Wales (Implementation of Lord Justice Jackson's recommendations)

Response of the Criminal Bar Association to the Government's consultation on the reform of sentencing in England and Wales ("Breaking the Cycle")

 

Legal professional privilege

The Bar Council is seriously concerned that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) violates legal professional privilege (LPP) by permitting the authorities secretly to obtain information about legally privileged communications, in particular private meetings and other communications between a lawyer and client.

The Bar Council's Law Reform Committe identified the opportunity presented by the Protection of Freedoms Bill to remedy this defect. We drafted a New Clause for this Bill which was tabled by Baroness Hamwee and debated during the Bill's Committee and Report Stages in the House of Lords.

Please click here to read the Bar Council's latest briefing on LPP; click here to read a press release on the Bar Council's concerns, dated 2 February 2012; click here to read the Bar Council's Parliamentary briefing on legal professional privilege and the proposed New Clause for the Protection of Freedoms Bill; click here to read a transcript of the House of Lords Committee Stage debate; and click here to read the Report Stage debate.

 

2013

Briefing to MPs - Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013 and the Damages-based Agreement Regulations 2013.

Briefing to MPs - CBA Order and DBA Regulations 2013 

2012

Briefing to Peers - regulation of the legal profession. 

Briefing to Peers ahead of Baroness Deech's Question for a Short Debate on 3 December 2012