Labour puts legal issues high on conference agenda

LEGAL issues play a leading role at this week's Labour Party conference in Brighton.

The event will culminate with a debate on Labour's Access to Justice policy paper and its planned radical reforms of the legal profession.

On Sunday the Society of Labour Lawyers meets, with guest speakers Paul Boateng MP, Labour legal spokesman, and Roger Smith of Legal Action Group.

The Liberty and Charter 88 debate on democracy, 'Power to the people', will take place on Monday with Shadow Home Secretary Jack Straw, Shadow Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, and Liberty executive Francesca Cook.

On Tuesday the Law Society meeting, 'The cost of justice', is being held at the Ship Inn. It includes Henry Hodge for the society and Paul Boateng MP.

Liberty and the Institute of Public Policy Research are holding a session called 'Civil liberties and the information superhighway' on the same day. It includes Labour media spokesman Graham Allen MP.

The Liberty and Charter 88 debate 'Rights and responsibilities' is on Wednesday, with Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown and Andrew Puddephatt of Charter 88. Also on that day is 'Human rights in the workplace', with employment spokeswoman Harriet Harman and John Hendy QC.

Inquest debates 'Access to justice after death', with Michael Mansfield QC.

Paul Boateng MP and JPs Paul Jeger and Richard Rosser talk on the 'Future of the magistracy' on Thursday.

The Howard League for Penal Reform and the National Association of Probation Officers also meet that day.