26 April 2012
CILEx “extremely disappointed” as LASPO Bill is set to become
The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) is extremely
disappointed that after a parliamentary passage that saw it
defeated 14 times in the Lords, the controversial Legal Aid,
Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Bill (LASPO) now awaits
Chief Executive of CILEx, Diane Burleigh said: “CILEx is
extremely disappointed by the Government's rejection of Lord
Pannick’s amendment; ensuring people should have access to legal
services that ‘effectively meet their needs’. It was absolutely
vital that the Bill contained a statement of principle that the
purpose of legal aid is to promote access to justice within the
available financial resources.
“The Bill still fails to recognise that equal access to the law
is fundamental to the functioning of democracy. People need to have
the means to enforce their legal rights. The Bill will remove such
means from some of the most disadvantaged groups in society.
Justice will pay the price of these reforms.”
Speaking at CILEx’s historical graduation on Monday (23 April
2012), Lord Phillips of Sudbury criticised the bill, stating: “Law
is vitally important in the lives of our fellow citizens, more so
today than ever before, there is no justice in a democracy unless
it is available to the poor and the rich."
Lord Pannick did not push his amendment further, but, referring
to the coalition's plans for Lords reform, said that if he were a
member of an 80% elected House he would have pushed his amendment.
He described the bill as "bad" but Shadow Justice Minister Lord
Bach went further, saying that the Bill's provisions on social
welfare law "are not just bad, they are wicked.”
CILEx now calls on the government to adequately monitor and
assess the impact of the provisions following their