News Brief: Cuts, cuts, loans and prenups

Sharon Shoesmith is back in the news, saying that the funding cuts 'will lead to vulnerable children dying', a warning that seems likely to fall on deaf ears.

On the subject of deaf ears, the Law Society Gazette tells us that: "Next week sees the launch ... of Justice for All, a broad coalition of over 1,000 legal and advice groups, politicians, trade unions, community groups and members of the public ... set up in response to the government’s proposed legal aid cuts, to help raise awareness of the importance of advice and representation for the most vulnerable in society, and ensure that everyone is treated fairly under the law, regardless of their means." Catherine Baksi asks whether it will make a difference:

"The public, educated to a large extent by certain sections of the media to believe that legal aid merely fill the wallets of fat cat lawyers who get the guilty off or enable illegal immigrants to stay in England, is not anxious for spending to increase, so most politicians recognise the issue is not a vote winner and do not address it"

Perhaps the future of legal funding is indicated by this story in The Lawyer: "The Co-operative Bank has unveiled plans to launch funding deals for individual firms to provide clients with loans to fund divorce cases." What happens to those who can't afford a loan is not explained...

Lastly, Family Law Week tells us that the Law Commission is to publish its pre-nup consultation document next Tuesday, the 11th January, and goes on to explain that: "Contrary to some reports in the mainstream press, the document will not constitute a final report and will not make any recommendations." Instead, it "will invite contributions on a variety of options." So now you know.


  1. 'Sharon Shoesmith is back in the news, saying that the funding cuts 'will lead to vulnerable children dying',

    is it over-cyncial of me to suggest that cutting heads of department like her who have no idea and no apparent interest in what happens with social workers on the ground might lead to fewer children dying. fashionable to scapegoat her, i know, but she was truly crap in a way that only a senior civil servant can be. fortunately not all are.

  2. I do have some sympathy with her. I've no idea about her abilities, but certainly she did herself no good talking to the media.
    But she had no say in the budget or staffing levels. I know what it's like to work in an understaffed public sector department. The only people responsible for the death of Baby P were her parents.


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