updated on 25 September 2015
The Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has asked his shadow justice team to "immediately" review the government’s cuts to legal aid.
Former minister Lord Bach has been asked to lead the review. Meanwhile, as the Law Society Gazette reports, Karl Turner, MP for Hull, has been appointed shadow solicitor general. Turner’s brief will also be to focus on criminal justice and legal aid.
The announcement of the Labour party’s review comes as solicitors think about whether to accept the offer of the justice secretary, Michael Gove, to suspend the next round of legal aid cuts for three months in return for greater cooperation. The review also comes at a time when all but the wealthiest are being denied their theoretical human right to access the justice system by legal aid budget cuts and increased court fees.
Announcing Labour’s intention to review legal aid, Corbyn said: "Even though it is clear that the consequences of part one of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 are disastrous, the government refuses to review the way in which the act is working… [Lord Bach]…will also as a part of the review look at policy choices for Labour, so that Britain can once again have the prospect of a legal aid system worthy of our country and our legal tradition."