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After the Act

Access to Family Justice after LASPO

By: Mavis Maclean, John Eekelaar
Media of After the Act
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Published: 18-04-2019
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 208
ISBN: 9781509920211
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £54.00
Online price : £48.60
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About After the Act

After the Act describes the aftermath of the recent removal under LASPO of public funding from legal services in family matters other than in defined cases such as child protection and domestic abuse. Through analysis of the policy context, interviews with key players, observation of services provided by lawyers, students, lay support workers and the advice sector, the authors outline the work being done and the skills being used in a range of settings.

The book raises questions not only about access to family justice, but about the role of law in family matters in an increasingly post-legal society.

Fragmentation of the market in the new services offering information, initial advice, online or alternative dispute resolution – but rarely ongoing casework – raises questions about where costs fall and how quality can be assured. Many of these services are forms of private ordering, where outcomes are hard to assess.

If neither the state nor the individual can afford full legal services where the best interests of any child involved are of paramount importance, and lawyers negotiate to make best use of the resources available, perhaps it is time to consider using lawyers differently, with lay support, to solve problems before they become disputes.

Table Of Contents

1. Family Legal Problems and the Collapse of the Supportive State
I. Introduction
II. The Scope of the Problem
III. The Post-War Changes to Legal Aid
IV. Family Law: a Victim of its Own Success?
V. Legal Aid in Family Matters After 2013
VI. The Renewed Push for Mediation
VII. Paucity of Legal Provision
VIII. Child Support
IX. Are These Purely Private Matters?
X. Conclusions, Methodology and What Follows
2. Government Activity After LASPO
I. Community Legal Services
II. Assisting Litigants
III. Government Information Provision
IV. Conclusions
3. The Response of the Legal Professions to LASPO: I Solicitors' Innovative and Pro Bono Activity
I. Innovative Practices
II. Pro Bono Activity
III. Regulation and Liability
4. Legal Advice Clinics: Observational Data
I. Clinic A: A Court-based Family Legal Advice Clinic (Staffed by Solicitors Assisted by PSU)
II. Clinic B: A University-based Clinic Comprising a Legal Advice Centre with Local Practitioners and Students and a Separate Student Family Help Desk at Court, Run by a 'Pracademic' (A Faculty Member with a Practising Certificate as a Family Solicitor)
III. Clinic C: A Family Legal Advice Clinic Linked with an Advice Agency
IV. Concluding Observations
5. The Response of the Legal Professions to LASPO: II Barristers in Action Pro Bono
I. Structural Issues
II. Liability and Insurance
III. Interview Data
IV. Conclusions
6. Judicial Initiatives
I. Introduction
II. Specific Problems and Initiatives
III. Observational Data
IV. Conclusions 4
7. Support in Court by Non-Lawyers
I. The Personal Support Unit (PSU)
II. McKenzie Friends
8. The Student Contribution: Clinical Legal Education
I. Aims
II. Organisation of CLE
III. Regulating CLE
IV. CLE Training and Student Preparation for Family Work: Observational Data
V. Conclusions on Student Pro Bono Activity
9. The Third Sector
I. Introduction
II. Observational Data
III. 'Advice' in the Third Sector
10. Public Legal Education – Legal Capability and the Boundaries of Law
I. The Legal Education Foundation
II. Law for Life
III. AdviceNow
IV. Reflections on PLE
11. A Post-Legal World for Family Disputes?
I. The Initiatives Summarised
II. Impact Evaluation
III. Which Way Forward?
IV. The Place of Law in Family Matters

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