Post by Patrick Torsney on Mar 15, 2013 7:45:56 GMT
Below is an email sent yesterday evening from the Legal Services Research Centre (LSRC) regarding its abolition that has been passed to me. I have made the decision to reproduce it in full as I think it is of some historical significance in the context of current attacks on justice, in this case through LASPO. I have not included any attribution
Dear Friends of the LSRC
As most of you know, the LSRC will be abolished at the end of this month. This is as a result of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. The Act stipulates that the Legal Services Commission (LSC) will be abolished, with the new Legal Aid Agency having no research function. Responsibility for legal aid analysis and research, as well as policy, rests with the Ministry of Justice.
We operated as the independently managed research division of the LSC from 2000, having initially been established as the Legal Aid Board Research Unit (LABRU) in 1996. Created to inform and advance access to justice policy and service delivery in England and Wales, the LSRC conducted strategic research on legal services, in both the civil and criminal justice fields. We have been international in outlook and the exchange with national and international policy makers and researchers has been mutually beneficial.
I have set out below a number of LSRC legacy arrangements in which you may be interested.
The LSRC has arranged for links to its archived website (including publications) to be made available on the International Legal Aid Group (ilagnet.org/) and Legal Services Board (www.legalservicesboard.org.uk/) websites from April, as well as via a wikipedia page (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_Services_Research_Centre). This ensures that valuable research output produced over the last 17 years is easily found. I have worked in this area long enough to know that ‘old’ research can become topical again very quickly!
It was good to see so many of you at the LSRC’s 9th International Research Conference in Oxford in 2012. Thanks for all the positive feedback. Please note that the conference brochures for both this conference and the one held in 2010 can be downloaded via the LSRC wikipedia page. The Analytical Services Division at the Ministry of Justice is currently considering whether they hold an LSRC-type successor international research conference.
English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Survey (CSJS)/English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Panel Survey (CSJPS)
The LSRC has arranged for CSJS/CSJPS datasets to become freely available on the UK data archive (data-archive.ac.uk/), to encourage researchers and academics to use the data. The data is not yet up, but should be available imminently; please continue to check at intervals.
It falls to me to thank all past and present members of the LSRC for their work in access to justice research. It has only been possible to produce the quality and volume of work through the expertise and enthusiasm of a dedicated group of people; all of whom brought something different and special to the LSRC.
Specific thanks also go to past and present members of the LSRC Reference Group, who have provided long-standing and committed support to the LSRC and its research.
Lastly, on behalf of all of us at the LSRC, thank you to all of you for your interest, collaboration, friendship and support, often over many years. With access to justice and legal aid policy changing in many jurisdictions, here’s to continuing research into these important areas!