03 February 2021
Professor Chris Bones appointed to advisory panel examining the long-term sustainability of the criminal legal aid system
CILEX Chair, Professor Chris Bones, has been appointed by The Lord Chancellor to the Expert and Advisory Panel for the Independent Review of Criminal Legal Aid.
Chris, who is acting in a personal capacity, will be part of an expansive panel of experts testing and challenging the recommendations made in the independent review being conducted by Sir Christopher Bellamy QC. His work with CILEX will bring a unique and valuable perspective to the panel, ensuring the interests of all legal practitioners are represented.
Sir Christopher will chair monthly meetings of the expert and advisory panel, beginning in February, submitting his recommendations to the Lord Chancellor later this year.
The report is expected to be published by the end of this year alongside the government's response. It will consider the criminal legal aid system in its entirety, with a view to ensuring that it:
- provides high quality legal advice and representation,
- is provided through a diverse set of practitioners,
- is appropriately funded, and
- is responsive to user needs both now and in the future.
The panel includes: Tuckers managing partner Richard Atkinson, co-chair of the Law Society’s criminal law committee; Bill Waddington, former chair of the Criminal Law Solicitors Association; solicitor and deputy High Court judge Margaret Obi; Crispin Passmore, a former director at the Solicitors Regulation Authority; Prof Stephen Mayson, Honorary Professor at UCL and author of the recent Mayson report and Dr Natalie Byrom, director of research at the Legal Education Foundation.
Professor Chris Bones commented on his appointment: “I am honoured to have been appointed alongside such a distinguished panel. CILEX Lawyers play a crucial role in the criminal justice system and my experience in chairing CILEX will help me deliver and amplify our different perspective. Legal Aid is an important principle, so much so that we need to try and move on from the binary debate over funding to a search for sustainable solutions that better meet the needs of today’s society."