Lord Chancellor and UK Secretary of State for Justice Ken Clarke met with the IBA’s James Lewis in November, 2011. Their discussion covered many topics, including: cuts to legal aid; conditional fee arrangements; private sector management of prisons; the response of the justice system to the summer riots; secrecy and sovereignty in cases involving terrorist suspects; the UK’s forthcoming chairmanship of the Council of Europe; the promotion of legal services as one of the UK’s key exports; and the modernisation of the UK justice system as a premier international destination for disputes.
Topics and timings can be found beneath the video.
Legal Aid cuts
Start – 1.40: On the deficit and the need to find savings
1.42 – 4.27: On the Civil Justice Council and their findings
4.28 – 6.55: On costing and the opinions of senior judges regarding delays and difficulties, especially relating to litigants in person.
6.55 – 9.20: On budgets of the MoJ and Home Office and the ‘unavoidable need’ to cut back.
9.20 – 12.00: On the perceived dangers of burdening the state in other areas, eg NHS.
On funding being safe in cases of people losing their homes, domestic violence etc. On protecting ‘vulnerable litigants, not vulnerable law practices’.
12.00-17:20: On prison population, reforming offenders, private prisons and the riots which took place in England in summer 2011.
17.20-21.40: On the American experience of private prisons.
21:40-24:53: On private sector involvement in public services
25.08-28.27: On sentencing following riots
28.37-30.53: On Binyam Mohamed case - fair trials and a functioning and effective intelligence service
30.53-32.12: On open justice
32.12-34.40: On trying terrorist suspects
34.30-36.29: On the Council of Europe
36.29-37.48: On the Human Rights Act
UK as an international legal centre
37.48-end: On the high quality of UK courts; Russian cases being settled in the UK.