The Western Circuit has postponed the meeting due to be held this Saturday. It is proposed to re-arrange it for a date in early February.
The reasons for the postponement are these:
– The MoJ appears to be (still) undecided about how and when to respond to the Consultation process;
– The High Court judgment in the QASA JR proceedings is not yet available and advice will be needed about the outcome and any appeal before we can decide our response.
Below is a relevant extract from an email that Andrew Langdon QC has sent to all members of the Circuit.
Dear Member of Circuit,
We have had to react to recent events – or a lack of them. As you know Saturday’s meeting was planned on the basis that we would by then know where we stood as to (1) the Government’s announcement of its final position following consultation on Legal Aid (2) the QASA judgment and any consequential advice on appeal.
Neither has so far materialised.
The Ministry refuse to say when they are making their announcement. Today’s message on inquiry was ‘No final decisions have been made at this stage so until they have been I’m afraid it’s not possible to say just yet when we will be issuing our response.’
In the meantime I and others are in discussion with the CBA and with various solicitor groups as to contingency next steps and the coordination of the entire profession’s response if the Government’s forthcoming announcement as to Legal Aid is disappointing. The feedback from our three circuit meetings of 6th January gives me a sufficient steer as to the options preferred by most.
I will keep you posted.