The Lion, the Witch and the trademark

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  • What are all these City lawyers complaining about?

    What are all these City lawyers complaining about? This seems standard government practice nowadays.
    The Public Law Outline was scheduled for publication in October 2007 for implementation on 1 April 2008. In the event it was published on 25 January 2008, but the Ministry of Justice refused to consider any delay in implementation.
    The Public Law Outline in itself appears to be a sensible reform, but it does impose significant changes to social work practice and to the conduct of care proceedings. The only coverage I've seen relates to the abrupt reduction in the numbers of care proceedings being issued around the country causing problems to solicitors in private practice. This should come as no surprise to anyone old enough to remember the implementation of the Children Act 1989 in October 1991. I suggest that late publication will only have exacerbated such reductions.
    Local authorities now have to comply with the new requirements imposed by the Public Law Outline before issuing care proceedings. Having only found out what those new requirements are 9 weeks before implementation, it will take local authorities time to comply. An example of the new requirements imposed is for local authorities to have procured any necessary expert assessments before proceedings are issued, when previously they would have been obtained on joint instructions during the proceedings. I suggest that the six months originally promised by the Ministry of Justice would have been a difficult target to hit.
    To rush implementation in this way at a time when dramatic reductions in public funding for legal advice to parents and children and dramatic increases in court fees are being imposed really does make one think that the Ministry of Justice aren't really all that bothered about how the Public Law Outline actually works in practice.

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