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Lawyers questioned on courts and legal aid during the pandemic

22 February 2021

The Justice Committee questions civil law practitioners about the capacity of the courts in England and Wales to dispense justice and on the future of the legal aid system, both of which are areas seriously impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Tuesday 23 February 2021, virtual meeting

At 2.30pm

  • Jane Russell, Committee Member of the Employment Law Bar Association, and barrister at Essex Court Chambers
  • Simon Mullings, Co-Chair of Housing Law Practitioners Association, and lawyer at Edwards Duthie Shamash

At 3.30pm

  • Chris Minnoch, CEO, Legal Aid Practitioners Group
  • Ian Townley, Director and Head of Costs, Broudie Jackson Canter

This is the fourth oral evidence session of the Court Capacity and Legal Aid inquiries. This latest session focuses on the experience of civil law practitioners, including those specialising in housing and employment law. Members of the Committee are likely to ask questions about the lawyers’ day-to-day experiences; there will also be opportunities to discuss possible solutions to the challenges they are facing.

The session also considers the future of legal aid, and what can be done to improve access to justice in the civil justice system. Potential reforms that could improve the sustainability of the profession are also likely to be discussed. The session will look at the relationship between lawyers and the Legal Aid Agency, including how this can be improved.

The cross-party Committee holds regular oral evidence sessions to inform its inquiries as it fulfils its mandate to scrutinise the policies and actions of Government. It questions a wide range of people, including government ministers and officials, experts and people affected by the field of enquiry. The Committee also takes written evidence for its inquiries. Further information about this work is here for the Court Capacity inquiry and here for the Legal Aid inquiry.

Further information

Image: MoJ