Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders bill

– in a Public Bill Committee on 19th July 2011.

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[Jim Sheridan in the Chair]

Written evidence to be reported to the House

LA 38 Refugee Children’s Consortium (additional)

LA 39 Robert Morfee, Partner, Clarke Willmott LLP

LA 40 Caroline Sergeant, Solicitor

LA 41 Resolution

LA 42 Cris McCurley, Partner, Ben Hoare Bell LLP

LA 43 Mencap

LA 44 Equality and Diversity Forum

LA 45 Joanna Miles

LA 46 Legal Services Commission

Photo of Jim Sheridan Jim Sheridan Labour, Paisley and Renfrewshire North 9:00 am, 19th July 2011

Before we start this morning’s proceedings, I want to say that we are considering an extremely serious Bill, not only for the taxpayer, but individuals. I am well aware that there are extremely talented brains in Committee, but I do not imagine that there will be a need to demonstrate that further. Brevity will be appreciated.

Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Shadow Minister (Justice)

On a point of order, Mr Sheridan. It is a pleasure to see you in the Chair. I have checked my declaration of interest, and it still states that I am a barrister, which I am—albeit non-practising. I declare that as an interest—I hope for the one and only time, although I realise that, in so doing, I might set off a fusillade of similar declarations.

Photo of Jim Sheridan Jim Sheridan Labour, Paisley and Renfrewshire North

Does anyone else have a declaration to make?

Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland Conservative, South Swindon

Yes, Mr Sheridan. I should declare that I am a practising barrister, who has been in receipt of criminal legal aid payments for work done before the election. I am also a recorder at the Crown court. That is my declaration for the purposes of all our sittings until the end of our consideration of the Bill.

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

Good morning, Mr Sheridan. I declare an interest as a non-practising solicitor who has never been in receipt of legal aid.

Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry Conservative, Broxtowe

I was a member of the Criminal Bar Association until my election to this place, so I have been in receipt of payments through the legal aid system. However, I have never held a judicial appointment.

Photo of Karl Turner Karl Turner Labour, Kingston upon Hull East

Before the general election, I was a pupil in my chambers in Hull, where I had practised as a criminal solicitor, mainly publicly funded, for some time. Since the general election, I have received fees that have been privately paid only.

Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Labour, Stretford and Urmston

I held judicial offices as a lay magistrate between 1993 and 2009, and I have been made a life member of the Magistrates Association.

Photo of Yvonne Fovargue Yvonne Fovargue Labour, Makerfield

Before the election, I was a chief executive of a citizens advice bureau that received legal aid funding for social welfare law.

Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright Government Whip

I am also a non-practising barrister. That may not matter, as I am unlikely to say anything in Committee apart from moving the Adjournment motion.

Photo of Jessica Lee Jessica Lee Conservative, Erewash

I declare an interest. I was called to the family Bar in 2001, and I have practised in chambers in London and Nottingham.

Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Labour, Stretford and Urmston

My hon. Friend the Member for Makerfield reminds me that I also ran the Child Poverty Action Group for a number of years and, before that, the National Council for One Parent Families, both of which received legal aid funding.