Party wins youth over

THE YOUNG Labour Lawyers Group strongly supports Labour plans for a Judicial Appointments and Training Commission, put forward in the 'Access to Justice' paper in February, now contained in the party's draft policy statement.

The judicial commission is contained in one of the three main areas of Labour's policy, which focus on community legal service, reforming the legal profession and judicial appointments/monitoring.

However, Young Labour Lawyers, in its written response to Labour, skirts around some of the issues in the first two areas and instead looks mainly at issues relating to training, access to the profession, and funding for trainees.

On trainee issues, the group makes radical proposals, such as distributing the limited central funds available for vocational training equally among all the professions.

They call for a restriction on the numbers of trainee lawyers, saying “access should be limited at source”.

They describe the present system as “intolerable”, and add that “the only people who [currently] benefit are the large institutions from their huge fees, while the system condemns a large proportion of those it trains to no job.”

A Labour government should take a more “pro-active role” in legal education, as should the Department of Education, rather than things being left to the Law Commission and the Lord Chancellor's Department, they say.

Mike Yuille