This is the latest in an occasional series of round-ups of interesting links on law and policy. It does not pretend to be comprehensive and it only reflects what interests me and what I have read. The box on the right-hand side has links to previous round-ups (or rounds-up).
Criminal legal aid
The daft and dangerous proposals of the Ministry of Justice for criminal legal aid continue to fall apart.
Today at 11am there will be the publication of a special report by the House of Commons Justice select committee . This follows the committee’s two recent oral evidence sessions – one with representatives of the professional and professional bodies and one with the Lord Chancellor.
This report is unexpected. There was no need to publish a report, as it is entirely open to the committee to just have evidence sessions without any follow-up. So that there is a report is significant. And, as the MPs’ questioning of the Lord Chancellor was both sceptical and well-informed, it may well be a report worth looking at carefully.
The equal marriage bill is now an Act of Parliament.
The parliamentary webpage for the legislation – here - shows the progress of the bill. Yesterday it received royal assent (though not in person – no monarch has personally given assent to a bill of the UK parliament since Queen Victoria – and it is done on the Queen’s behalf).
However, the Act is not quite yet the law of the land. Other than an immediate obligation on the Secretary of State to review civil partnerships, the Act will take effect at a date selected by the government. This is not an unusual provision, as there often needs to be preparatory administrative work and so on before a new law can take effect.
That said, some Acts are never brought into effect. The Easter Act 1928 has never been commenced, and leading family law barrister and blogger Lucy Reed tells me much of the Family Act 1996 has also not been commenced.