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Legal Updates

How Will the Latest Legal Aid Cuts Have an Impact?

Legal aid is a way to offer legal advice and support to people who cannot afford to pay for it themselves. It has been one of the basic pillars of the welfare state since it came into being. But new changes that came into effect in early April in England and Wales have removed legal aid funding from various areas of civil law, including family disputes and social welfare benefits advice as well as housing and debt problems.

Does Prison Work as a Deterrent?

In October 2012, David Cameron made a statement about the prison system and that prisons should be made to work for the offenders. He also said that punishment and rehabilitation should in fact take equal precedence in preventing crime. The Prime Minister said that the debate on punishment had become too ‘black or white’, and that the prison system should be one that has a positive and rehabilitative impact on an inmate’s life, rather than merely a punitive one. 

A Cautionary Tale about Establishing a Testator’s Capacity

This month we will consider a recent Court of Appeal decision which should remind those practicing in Wills and Probate of the importance of following best practices when preparing wills for clients. 

The case, Hawes v Burgess [2013] EWCA Civ 74, involved a 2007 will which cut out the testatrix’s son, Peter, and left the estate equally to her two daughters, Libby and Julia. 

Consider the following background facts to the case:

Manipulating the Family Law System

The experience of seeing one’s parents split up, however amicably, can be difficult for a child to cope with.  But divorces are not always amicable.  The fact is that many split-ups are bitter and frequently involve protracted legal battles, including child custody cases.  In the bitter battle between warring parents, children often end up becoming the prisoners of war.

Land Law – Leasehold Pitfalls

If you have studied ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma course, you will already know that a leasehold estate is one of the two ways under the Law of Property Act 1925 that you can own land in the UK.  Leasehold is a form of ownership that allows you a temporary right to hold land or property.  The length of this temporary right is often measured in decades, usually 99 or 125 years. What you have not bought when you obtain a leasehold title is the land a property stands on.

Further Legal Aid Cuts to Be Introduced

The President of the Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger, recently expressed grave concerns about the imminent cuts in legal aid for civil cases.  These cuts are expected to save over £350 million after they come into effect this month.  But the statement by Lord Neuberger was closely followed by yet another announcement by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, detailing further cuts in legal aid spending, this time for criminal cases. 

A Reform in the Regulation of Will Writing

ILSPA’s Legal Secretaries Diploma unit relating to Wills, Administration and Procedure sets out why it is important to make a will, and the assessments for the course require Students to type a will.

Should the Age of Criminal Responsibility Be Raised?

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that anyone under the age of 18 is a child.

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