On the 20th July 2020 the APPG hosted its first virtual meeting. The meeting was the first opportunity for our members to discuss Covid-19’s impact since the beginning of lockdown and hear directly from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice on the Government’s approach to legal aid during the pandemic. We were incredibly pleased to welcome a large number of viewers, with over 100 Parliamentarians, practitioners and members of the public registering to attend the event.
All-Party Parliamentary Group Meeting, Monday, 3 February 2020 – Justice in the new Parliamentary Session
The APPG on Legal Aid met on Monday night in the Jubilee Room at the House of Commons for its first meeting in 2020. The event was held ahead of Justice Week (which runs from Monday 24-Fri 28 February) and was the first opportunity of the new parliamentary term for those with a responsibility for Justice, either in Parliament or via rep bodies, to come together.
The APPG on Legal Aid held its inaugural meeting of the new session on 15 January 2020, re-establishing the group and re-electing Karen Buck MP as Chair. The following Vice-Chairs were elected unopposed:
Lord Willy Bach (who sent his apologies)
Lord Colin Low (who sent his apologies)
Lord Charlie Falconer (who sent his apologies)
Baroness Helena Kennedy (who sent her apologies)
Alex Chalk MP
Yvonne Fovargue MP (who sent her apologies)
Andy Slaughter MP
Jo Stevens MP
Kate Green MP
The APPG on Legal Aid was delighted to host Jelena Lentzos, Head of Criminal Legal Aid Policy and Sustainable Markets at the Ministry of Justice, who heads up the review, Richard Atkins QC, Chair of The Bar Council, Simon Davis, Vice-President of The Law Society, Greg Powell, immediate past President of the London Criminal Courts Solicitor Association and Emma Fenn, a junior criminal barrister from Garden Court Chambers. They all spoke passionately about the changes that the review needed to make to the system in order for it to be fit for purpose,
Speakers included Guardian journalist Owen Bowcott, Alex Scott, Head of Legal Support Policy at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Lisa Wintersteiger, Chief Executive at Law for Life, David Greene Deputy Vice-President of The Law Society and LAG’s Interim Director Carol Storer. As legal correspondent for the Guardian, Mr Bowcott has covered legal aid stories for over eight years.