Bar Council Calls on Government to Accept Vital Legal Aid Amendments
17 April 2012
As the House of Commons prepares today to consider amendments
passed in the House of Lords to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and
Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Bill, the Bar Council, which
represents barristers in England and Wales, has called on the
Government to accept these vital changes.
Michael Todd QC, Chairman of the Bar Council,
"During the Report Stage and Third Reading of the LASPO Bill in
the House of Lords, the Government was defeated on a staggering 11
amendments, in some cases by a large number of votes. Peers from
all three main parties, Plaid Cymru and Crossbenchers were moved to
speak against this damaging piece of legislation.
"All of the amendments aim to ensure that the most vulnerable in
society continue to receive the support they need to resolve their
legal problems. Many will cost very little in practice, whilst
others will generate substantial savings further down the line, as
problems are resolved at an earlier opportunity, thus relieving the
taxpayer of greater expenditure at a later stage.
"As we look ahead to the Commons' consideration of these
amendments, we speak for many of those who have campaigned against
this Bill's provisions, as well as those working with vulnerable
individuals in the not for profit sector, in calling on the
Government to recognise that, after very thorough scrutiny in the
Lords, the Bill returns to the Commons much improved. While its
impact will still be significant, the added protections offered by
these amendments are vital, and we urge the Government to accept
Notes to editors
1. For further information, please contact the Bar
Council Press Office on 020 7222 2525.
2. Please click
here to read the Bar Council's briefing for MPs for the
Commons' consideration of the Lords' amendments to the LASPO
3. The Bar Council represents barristers in England and
Wales. It promotes:
• The Bar's high quality specialist advocacy and advisory
• Fair access to justice for all
• The highest standards of ethics, equality and diversity
across the profession, and
• The development of business opportunities for barristers at
home and abroad.
The General Council of the Bar is the Approved Regulator of the
Bar of England and Wales. It discharges its regulatory functions
through the independent Bar Standards Board.