‘Civil legal aid as a constitutional imperative: A response to Lord Sumption’

“Having prefaced his tenure as a Supreme Court Justice with a controversial lecture that (as Sir Stephen Sedley put it) he used ‘to reprove the judiciary which he was about to join for failing to keep out of the political arena’, the end of Lord Sumption’s judicial career is now marked by an address that is no less tendentious. Giving the keynote speech to the 2018 Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference in London ahead of his impending retirement, Lord Sumption broached the question of legal aid. In doing so, he drew a surprising and questionable distinction between criminal and civil legal aid, and (it is argued) fell into serious error by failing to acknowledge that the provision of legal aid is, first and foremost, a constitutional issue …” (more)

[Mark Elliott, Public Law for Everyone, 28 November]

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