We have today published our response to the Ministry of Justice’s consultation: Housing Legal Aid: the way forward – A consultation on the future of the Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme.

In our response we acknowledge the positive and constructive concepts mooted by the MOJ to improve both the long-term viability of duty schemes and ensure that clients receive the services they need. However we raise a number of significant concerns about the manner in which the MOKJ is seeking to bring about those objectives, and whether the proposals will actually have adverse, unintended consequences for both providers, the clients and the courts. We also raise the points that without widespread and significant reform of and investment in civil legal aid, relatively minor positive adjustments to court duty schemes will not shore up the legal aid provider base or enable lawyers to provide a more comprehensive and effective service.

Read our full response here (PDF, 16 pages, 0.7MB)

We have invited the MOJ to continue to engage with us and with providers and other professional bodies to develop long-term, effective solutions to the crises faced by both legal aid providers and the many thousands of clients in need of legal advice.