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Description: jul2013-p06-01
Richard Gutch and Sara Ogilvie, the commission’s secretary and research assistant respectively, write:
Following its launch in December 2012, the Low Commission on the Future of Advice and Legal Support has been gathering evidence about the future of advice and legal support on social welfare law issues in England and Wales (see ‘Early thoughts of the Low Commission’, April 2013 Legal Action 16). In addition to encouraging written evidence submissions, the commission has arranged meetings to discuss issues such as advice and IT, innovation in the advice sector and pro bono work. The commission has also visited advice agencies in England and Wales, and held a series of one-to-one meetings with those working in the sector, government officials and interested parliamentarians.
In September, the commission will publish its emerging recommendations and a draft report, and is keen to hear as many views on its proposals as possible. As part of this process, the commission has organised a series of consultation meetings:
in Cardiff on 4 September;
in London on 5 September; and
in Manchester on 19 September.
The meetings will be held from 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm. The draft report will be sent in advance to those attending the consultation events.
The All-Party Group on Legal Aid, whose terms of reference are ‘to promote parliamentary and public understanding of the importance of the role of publicly funded legal services … [and] to scrutinise and influence any proposals for the reform of legal aid provision to ensure that access to justice for all members of society is preserved and improved’, will also hold a meeting to discuss the commission’s recommendations in September.
Lord Low, chairperson of the commission, commented: ‘We are very grateful to everyone who has shared their time and insight with us so far, and we hope that the advice sector will continue to allow us to draw on its knowledge and expertise. I warmly encourage honest and open appraisal of our recommendations and look forward to productive consultation meetings.’
Following the consultation period, the commission will revise its draft report in advance of the publication in December 2013 of the final version.
■ For further details about attending one of the consultation events, please e-mail: sogilvie@lag.org.uk.

About the author(s)

Description: Richard Gutch
Richard Gutch was the secretary of the Low Commission on the Future of Advice and Legal Support. He retired in 2014, but remains a trustee of...
Sara Ogilvie is policy officer at Liberty. She was a research assistant to the Low Commission on the Future of Legal Advice and Support.