Law Society Legal News Summary 10 January 2022

New joint practitioner group proposed to fight legal aid cuts 

Edward Henry QC is investigating if there's appetite for a new practitioner body to represent the interests of solicitors and barristers to provide a "hard stick" in negotiations with the government on criminal legal aid, reports the Gazette. 

A Law Society spokesperson said: "There are already numerous practitioner groups representing criminal defence lawyers, with which the Law Society works closely to try to influence policy. All those groups are well aware of the challenges the criminal justice system is facing. We are not convinced that the formation of yet another practitioner group is the answer to the challenges we are up against."

Human Rights Act reform 

Law and Lawyers reports the profession's reaction to the UK government's consultation on the Human Rights Act 1998. 

We warned that "driving a coach and horses through human rights protections and legal certainty risks damaging the UK's international standing and could impact its attraction as a place to do business". 

Read our press release

Role models key to improving diversity in the profession 

Shaheen Mamun, one of our social mobility ambassadors, writes in the Gazette about the importance of role models in improving diversity in the profession. 

"Many people entering the profession can't afford to practise human rights legal aid work at the moment as it is so underfunded and underpaid. If aspiring solicitors are working class or are from an ethnic minority, like me, then supporting schemes that facilitate people's experience of public law is important," he said.

No-fault divorce 

On 6 April 2022, no-fault divorce will become effective in law in England and Wales, meaning that a person wanting to start a divorce won't have to allege their marriage has broken down through the fault of the other person. 

Brabners cites former Law Society president Simon Davis, who called the change "a landmark moment" in English and Welsh law.  

Read more about no-fault divorce

Also worth a read: 

  • Novak Djokovic visa row: Judge orders his immediate release – BBC
  • Police officer misconduct cover-up rife in force, according to FOI request – Times (£)
  • Women's safety: Campaigners call Home Office backing of app "insulting" – Guardian
  • Four more years for Aung San Suu Kyi for violating Covid restrictions – Independent
  • 2 million cases of Covid in London – Evening Standard
  • Recruiters say London law firms are struggling to fill jobs, as applicant competition soars – FT (£)

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