Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Apr 28, 2011 19:51:45 GMT
Some ideas for the Justice for All day of action on the 3rd June.
As many of you will know Justice for All are holding a 'Day of Action' for the 3rd June. I'll embed this in the J4A thread, but I wanted to take this opportunity of putting up a separate post on the things we can do to make this a key event.
Djanogly's announcement is expected at some time in the not too distant future, I certainly wouldn't count on any delay. If there's a delay the extra time should (IMHO) be utilised to go all out to make this campaign even stronger. I've put up various posts on my scepticism over the issue revolving around delays and also whether government is likely to change it's views elsewhere. I think we should assume they won't;- which makes it all the more necessary to get involved with an intensive round of campaigning from now until such times as MP's are called on to vote these reforms.
On our part at South Hams CAB we've gone all out to contest these reforms and I'm sure others have too. This seems like an opportune moment to share our campaign experiences and to this end I've set up a new thread on Mylegal for people/organisations to share their experiences. I've also put up some 'tips' on how to go about it and would welcome any that others can provide.
At the end of the day it's all down to how the parliamentary voting goes, I presume this will shortly follow after Djanogly's announcement. I'm not sure how it'll proceed, whether in stages or the passing of one overall bill leading up to the enactment of the Legal Services Act, part of it seems to me to be more of a massive repeal of of the Access to Justice Act. I'm sure they'll be a lot of call for amendments in various passages of the bill. It would be good to have some commentary on how the legislation is likely to proceed. I'm sure they'll be some judicial challenges to the impact assessments; - we can but wait and see.
What is certain is that until all of this has become clearer we should be saying to our MP's that it is totally wrong to vote for the abolition of legal aid for social welfare law! MP's have the option of voting for or against, or to abstain. They should be pressured into doing what's best for the constituents they represent rather than to suit the party rhetoric.
On our part we're in the process of setting up a Devon event. MP's have been invited and hopefully they will attend. If they don't - we'll still meet as providers and feedback to our MP's on what we discussed. I'm going to be optimistic and hope for a good turn out. It's a good opportunity to speak from a wider platform by engaging with other providers and encouraging cross party debate by inviting all MP's in the county. I'd encourage others to consider similar events and to tie these in where possible with the Justice for All 'Day of Action'.
It may also be a good idea to set up some kind of event where you can meet with the public and perhaps local councilors. Anything which promotes awareness of legal aid can only be a good thing. Make the most of some of the material on Mylegal and Ilegal (print offs of the scale of the cuts and case studies for instance) to fortify the message on display boards at your event. Invite clients if at all possible to explain how they've been helped by legal aid.
Just whatever you do, so something to increase awareness as there's still a lot of misunderstanding over exactly what it is we do. In truth, it is tax payer's money and I guess there has never been a better time to tell people what it is we do for their money.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on May 27, 2011 10:17:59 GMT
Excellent stuff Patrick! - This is BRILLIANT!!, it's just ideal for presentations and so forth for the event - I'll post a link to it on Mylegal, unless you want to do a direct link to the downloads on there?
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on May 27, 2011 11:14:03 GMT
Many thanks Patrick; - you just beat me to it! - I was just putting up a post on Mylegal but got sidetracked by a call from the garage telling me how much of a bill I'm in for, in serious shock mode now!; - after coming back from near cardiac arrest;- I see you've put the excellent poster range up, many thanks.
This is why everyone in the sector needs to participate in the Day of Action to make their voice heard - legal aid is the easy target for cuts when public money is under such pressure - make it harder by giving by providing your local MPs with irrefutable evidence that good quality, specialist advice and legal help for people with civil and legal problems saves the state money..use whatever outcomes and local data and case-studies you have to support this!
Post by Patrick Torsney on May 27, 2011 12:35:58 GMT
I agree James. The meetings, at which this 'announcement' was made were actually arranged by the Commission and headed up by John Sirodcar (of financial stewardship infamy). I am shocked by the arrogance of this man - does he now speak for the MoJ, or did he just think it was acceptable to 'leak' and whisper rumour, with no mandate, to his 'preferred suppliers'?
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Jun 3, 2011 7:00:13 GMT
Good luck to all who take part in the Justice for All 'Day of Action' - let's hope it helps get the message over and increases awareness of the huge risk these cuts pose;- if essential social welfare law legal aid is withdrawn.