Minority legal bodies take Govt to court

•The Society of Asian Lawyers and the Black Solicitors Network have commenced judicial review proceedings to challenge the Government’s proposed changes to the funding of legal services for crime. They claim that the Carter reforms will adversely affect ethnic minority lawyers, as the smaller law firms they tend to work for will be less likely to secure contracts. This in turn will restrict access to justice for many minority communities. The representative bodies said they have asked the Government to assess the impact of the proposals on minority communities, but that the Department for Constitutional Affairs and the Legal Services Commission (LSC) have failed to do this in “any meaningful way”. The LSC said there was a place for ethnic minority lawyers in the future of legal aid.