The long awaited final report of the Bach Commission was released just prior to the Labour Party Conference in September 2017. It is entitled ‘The Right to Justice’. The Bach Commission was set up by the Labour Party though has operated independently of the Labour Party.
In June 2017 the Law Society produced a report assessing four years on since the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPOA) 2014. Here are some useful quotes from that very good report:-
Birmingham City Council have obtained what appears to be a general injunction covering unauthorised encampments in Perry Park, Selly Oak Park, Selly Park Recreation Ground and Hazelwell Park.
CLP were delighted (to say nothing of amazed) to be given the above award at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards on the evening of 5th July 2017. It was wonderful to hear about the marvellous work of so many dedicated legal aid workers around the UK. The awards are organised by the (equally wonderful) Legal Aid Practitioners Group (LAPG).
LAPG said of CLP:
“CLP is a legal aid firm to its core. It specialises in housing law for those facing possession, the homeless and Gypsies and Travellers, including cutting edge work in the higher courts. A client who collapsed when trying to represent herself says: ‘I went from wanting to die to wanting to live – that’s how much their help meant’.
Anna Jones, the compere for the evening, referred to “their legendary commitment to Gypsies and Travellers”.
Thank you to all those who sent in submissions in our support especially some of our clients and to James Stark of Garden Court North Chambers for nominating us. Well done to all the winners and all those shortlisted. We were very honoured to be in such exalted company.
CLP have carried out an analysis of what the different major political parties in England and Wales (Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party) say in their Manifestos about Housing, Justice/Legal Aid and Gypsies and Travellers. The bits in italics below are quotes from the Manifestos.
CLP have been shortlisted in the Legal Aid firm/not for profit agency category of the awards. For more details see:- http://www.lapg.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/LALY-2017-finalists-press-release-.pdf.
Regular readers will know that in August 2015 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (SSCLG) changed the definition of Gypsy/Traveller (or “traveller” as the SSCLG insists on saying) for planning purposes.
At the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards 2017 which took place on the evening of Thursday 9th March 2017, CLP were awarded Law Firm of the Year (5 to 15 partners). The Judges said:- “The firm has demonstrated outstanding commitment in helping the less privileged have access to justice. It has done so in circumstances where public funding is extremely limited. The firm supports clients in need and they also nurture local students and an extensive network of community organisations”.
Left to right:- John Sargeant (who presented the awards); Mike McIlvaney; Jenny Malone; Craig Keenan; Holly Sherratt; Rosaleen Kilbane and Mr Rollason (from Landmark Information who sponsored the award).
Jones v Canal & River Trust  EWCA Civ 135
The claim by Canal & River Trust (CRT) in this action is for a declaration and injunction that it is entitled to remove the Appellant’s boat, “The Mrs T”, from its waterways ( covering over 2,000 miles) under s.8 of the British Waterways Act 1983 and s.13 of the British Waterways Act 1971.
Birmingham City Council v Stephenson  EWCA Civ 1029, 27 September 2016.
In September 2015 Birmingham City Council (BCC) issued proceedings to repossess Mr Stephenson’s home on grounds of noise nuisance. Mr Stephenson, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, had been granted an introductory tenancy to his flat the previous year following being homeless for a number of years.