Clause 44 - Recovery where body undertakes to meet costs liabilities
Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders bill
Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith, Labour)
My comments are simply for the avoidance of doubt. The clause, from the Government’s perspective, tidies up the position in relation to their amendments to the current CFA/ATE system by introducing provisions that apply to trade unions and other member organisations that provide legal services. The provision of legal services has become an important role for trade unions and their members, and it generally works well. They have good relations with solicitors; they have their own legal departments; and members find it a very useful aspect of union membership. It is a question of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Or, if it appears to be in need of amendment, amend; do not chuck the baby out with the bathwater. I will not say anything beyond that. In debates on clauses 41 to 43, we have said all that we need to say on the sea changes that are going through. We are not pressing the clause to a Division, but we have the same reservations that we had on clause 43.