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Parliament, Legislation And Public Sector

Legal services to take the ‘Red Tape Challenge’

Your Expert Witness Challenge stickerThe Government's 'Red Tape Challenge' – the initiative aimed at simplifying regulation, reducing bureaucracy and remove unnecessary red tape for businesses has turned its sights towards the legal services sector, a sector many see as bound up with arcane regulation and downright obfuscation.

Launching the latest stage in the initiative, Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly announced plans to scrutinise, simplify or scrap more than 150 regulations that affect legal services. Consumers and businesses have been invited to comment on which regulations should be scrapped, improved or kept. Regulations will be scrapped unless there is a solid justification for why they should stay.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 10:53


Lansley vetoes NHS risk publication

On 10 May the Department of Health issued a statement saying that Health Secretary Andrew Lansley "...has today made a statement to Parliament explaining his decision to veto the disclosure of the Transition Risk Register. This follows the announcement on Tuesday 8 May that Cabinet had agreed to his use of the veto in this case."

The statement went on to say: "The Secretary of State for Health sought the Cabinet's views on the exercise of the Ministerial Veto in relation to the Information Tribunal's ruling that the Transition Risk Register should be released. He did so as part of a full commitment to act in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, which makes specific provision for the exercise of such a veto."

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:16


Met boss welcomes Winsor II

Your Expert Witness Bernard Hogan-HoweThe Winsor proposals are a step in the right direction for policing: that is the view of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. The opinion was offered during an appearance before the Commons Home Affairs Committee, as part of a six-month review of progress.

However, as reported in the weekly newsletter of the Police Oracle, Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe accepted that colleagues might not agree with his views on the report.

He said the Winsor proposals would reward deserving officers, with promotions being based on skill rather than longevity of service.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:19


Legal Aid Bill: Lords' third reading

Your Expert Witness gavelLegal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill enters third reading for final Lords scrutiny, amendments and potential votes today (Tuesday 27 March).

Members of the House have suggested a number of amendments to Schedule One which covers the provision of civil legal services for children under 18, vulnerable young people, victims of trafficking and those unlawfully taken from the UK.

What is third reading?
Third reading is the final chance for the Lords to debate and clarify the contents of the bill.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:20


Common committee calls for review of Legal Aid cuts

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has become the latest public body to voice criticism of the way in which cuts to Legal Aid are being implemented and has called for a review.

In its report on the Ministry of Justice accounts the committee says: “The Ministry maintains that it has followed Government guidance in producing its impact assessment for proposed changes to legal aid, but admitted that in some areas where there were insufficient data, potential impacts could not be quantified. The impact assessment has not identified the behaviour changes which may arise from the new legal aid arrangements, and should do so.

“The Ministry should arrange for the National Audit Office to review the impact assessment to ascertain whether the assumptions are sound and uncertainties have been clearly acknowledged.”

Last Updated on Friday, 30 March 2012 11:57