Are judges getting stricter with judicial review procedure?
Public Law Project Blog
by Alice Smith
1M ago
Drawing on examples from recent judicial review cases, Research Fellow Lee Marsons explores how an excessively purist approach to procedure risks undermining the rule of law, access to justice, and the accountability of public bodies. The approach of the courts to deciding judicial review cases is a matter of intense public debate, which attracts competing perspectives from commentators, researchers, parliamentarians and think-tanks. Recently, a focus has been on whether judges have softened their approach to deciding cases against the government. This debate centres around whether the outcome ..read more
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Benefit sanctions: how to repair the system
Public Law Project Blog
by Alice Smith
7M ago
As benefit sanctions exceed pre-COVID highs, research carried out by the Public Law Project with benefit claimants, advisers, and support workers shows that people who try to question their sanctions face a complex and unaccountable system in which legitimate challenge feels futile and fails to provide an adequate remedy.  Last month, DWP published its latest data on benefit sanctions. It made for worrying reading for anyone who had hoped for a change in approach following a period of sanction suspension during the pandemic.   The data showed that Universal Credit sanction rates ..read more
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The Civil Legal Aid Means Test: a system still failing those who need it most
Public Law Project Blog
by Alice Smith
8M ago
Reform of legal aid means testing is urgently needed, and, as it stands, the Ministry of Justice’s Means Test Review (MTR) does not go far enough in enacting the vital change needed to ensure access to civil justice in areas such as public law, immigration, housing, community care and family law – here are the key ways it can and must be improved. We are particularly concerned that existing issues will continue to produce injustice and impact vulnerable people in particular need of legal advice and representation. There is a lack of effective safeguards for people who cannot afford to pay priv ..read more
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Bridging the gap to justice: inside PLP’s hubs
Public Law Project Blog
by Alice Smith
11M ago
Offering specialist support and advice on securing justice within the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and the welfare system, Solicitor Aoife O’Reilly sets out why our hubs are more important than ever – and how we might be able to help you. It’s an exciting time for PLP’s EUSS and Welfare Rights Hubs: our network of frontline partner organisations is ever-expanding and our work improving access to justice for those affected by the EUSS and the welfare system continues to grow. As the solicitor coordinating these Hubs, I work closely with frontline organisations – NGOs, advice organisa ..read more
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Treaties matter: Why securing scrutiny is vital
Public Law Project Blog
by Alice Smith
1y ago
Following an evidence session to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) on whether Parliament should have a role in scrutinising international treaties, PLP Head of Research Arabella Lang sets out three key reforms needed to improve treaty scrutiny and why they are needed now more than ever. Treaty-making is a job for the executive, but this doesn’t mean Parliament should be shut out. Yesterday we told PACAC that prerogative treaty powers should be balanced against other important constitutional principles of parliamentary sovereignty, parliamentary accountabili ..read more
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Way to Work: what does it mean for sanctions?
Public Law Project Blog
by Alice Smith
1y ago
The inclusion of stricter benefit sanctions in a new ‘Way to Work’ campaign, announced by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) last week, is raising concerns over the fairness and effectiveness of the system. And as DWP continue to withhold publication of their recent report into whether benefit sanctions actually work, why are they continuing to expand their use in the face of mounting evidence of their harm?  Research Fellow Caroline Selman unpacks what we know so far. The current system of benefit sanctions has been shown to have a profoundly negative impact on the health, finance ..read more
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How is PLP making a difference in Wales?
Public Law Project Blog
by Alice Smith
1y ago
As PLP’s public law work in Wales gathers momentum, Solicitor Matthew Court sets out how our work is beginning to turn the tide on access to justice in Wales but how more must be done to protect those most vulnerable. We know judicial review plays an important role in forging a route to justice – particularly for those who are marginalised and vulnerable. Yet there continues to be a significant fall in the number of judicial review cases in 2021 in Wales. The trend over five years continues with a decline in the number of JR cases brought in England and Wales. Civil Justice Statistics Quarterl ..read more
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Benefit Sanctions: on the rise again
Public Law Project Blog
by Alice Smith
1y ago
Benefit sanctions are starting to increase again. But to what extent? Will we see the same old problems, or will new ones emerge? And why is this important? Research Fellow Caroline Selman digs deeper. At the outset of the Coronavirus pandemic, Government suspended benefit sanctions between 30 March and 30 June 2020. Unsurprisingly, this saw sanctions fall to an historic low both during the suspension period and also in the months following their reinstatement as DWP took a phased approach to their return. Figures for the period to April 2021 were still relatively low. Earlier this month the ..read more
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Protected: Sometimes ‘justice’ means being heard
Public Law Project Blog
by Alice Smith
1y ago
This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: Password: The post Protected: Sometimes ‘justice’ means being heard appeared first on Public Law Project ..read more
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Deleting the Administrative State?
Public Law Project Blog
by Ade
2y ago
Alexandra Sinclair and Joe Tomlinson A key public law discussion in recent months concerns the vast number of statutory instruments (SIs) government is using to implement Brexit. Initially, it was said by government that c.800-1,000 SIs were required. That estimate has now been revised down to c.600 (while the estimated number of SIs has decreased the size of individual SIs has also increased). This aspect of the Brexit process is worthy of study for multiple reasons, perhaps most notably because of the level of democratic scrutiny that will be (realistically) provided. In this post, we introd ..read more
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