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Liberal Democrat Conference

23 September 2016

Alexandra Cardenas provides an overview of the Law Society's activities at the Liberal Democrat Conference.

Parliament is in recess until Monday 10 October during the party conference season. 

The Liberal Democrat Conference took place in Brighton from Saturday 17 September until Tuesday 20 September. The Deputy Vice President, Christina Blacklaws, took part in two panel discussions organised and chaired by the Liberal Democrat Lawyers Association on access to justice and the implication of Brexit for the legal profession.

Our relationship with the Liberal Democrats and frontbench spokespeople, in particular Lord Marks, remains strong, with an open appreciation for the Society's attendance at the conference.

In his speech, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron stated that the party should occupy the newly vacant centre ground, in a similar way that the Labour Party did under Tony Blair. Farron has repeatedly called for Labour moderates to join the Liberal Democrats.

To highlight, a motion to restore access to justice was approved by members including:

  • urgently reviewing the effect of cuts to the legal aid budget and increased court fees
  • taking action to improve uptake of exceptional case funding
  • making legal aid available to all children and vulnerable young people, and
  • simplifying procedures for accessing legal aid in domestic violence cases

The contents of the motion will now become official Liberal Democrat Party policy. The Law Society made a submission to the Liberal Democrats' review of access to justice in June.

Read the motion

The Labour Conference will take place in Liverpool from Sunday 25 to Wednesday 28 September and our Vice President, Joe Egan, will participate in panel discussions and host a roundtable with members. 

Tags: Westminster weekly update | Liberal Democrats | party conferences

About the author

Alexandra Cardenas is Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at the Law Society. Public Affairs manages the relationships with parliament and government. She is a dual qualified solicitor in England and Wales (2014), and Colombia (2002). Prior to the Society, she practised as a human rights lawyer and worked at Macmillan Cancer Support and Animal Defenders International.

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