Richard Messingham introduces the first of a series of blogs focusing on political updates, parliamentary briefings, and what's going on in Westminster.
The Public Affairs team is at the heart of the Law Society's work influencing government, parliament and key stakeholders in the UK. We will be blogging regularly with political insight, opinion and commentary.
The parliamentary summer recess has now come to an end. MPs and Lords came back on Monday for a brief period of time, just 10 days, before the start of the political party conference season.
This short session, however, is an incredibly busy time for the Public Affairs team at the Law Society. We are working hard to ensure that our influencing work on justice for all continues to gain momentum and is positioned at the top of the political agenda. These are the top five things that we will be focusing on in the next couple of weeks:
Debate in the House of Lords on a regret motion on criminal legal aid fees. Lord Beecham will be raising concerns on the implementation of the cuts and the procurement of criminal legal services, without having undertaken a review of the impact and lack of engagement with the profession and those affected.
- The lord chancellor, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, will attend the session of justice oral questions. MPs will be quizzing the lord chancellor on issues related to court closures, increased court and tribunal fees and on the latest of the proposals for a British Bill of Rights.
- Our past president, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, gave oral evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 on Tuesday with a focus on the impact of the Act and other changes such as the LASPO cuts on people with disabilities.
Meeting a number of MPs to gather information on the impact of the Ministry of Justice's proposals on closures and integration of courts and tribunals on individual constituencies.
- Finalising our submission to the Justice Select Committee inquiry on court and tribunal charges.
In addition to these key activities, we are also monitoring closely the discussions on the European Union Referendum Bill and finalising our engagement programme for Party Conference.
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