About turn

As Simon is away this week, it has been left to us at JRS HQ to make an attempt at blogging, so here goes…

As I am sure most of you who ‘do’ Twitter and the like may have noticed, it emerged yesterday that Mr Grayling made a U-turn with regards to PCT. Following a meeting with the Law Society he has now agreed with them to explore alternative proposals to PCT most significantly perhaps, agreeing to retain client choice (which for those involved in the Save UK Justice campaign was a particular bone of contention.) I have not yet had a chance to fully read the Law Society’s proposals, which can be found in PDF form here, however there are 3 main points which are highlighted:

1. Retain choice – under our proposal client choice is not only retained, but actively encouraged and facilitated via the provision of information to defendants. Choice regulates quality and ensures the proper functioning of the market.

2. Provide certainty – the system has been plagued by uncertainty about its future. This situation must be ended. A new system of rolling contracts with participation subject to attaining the standards of a progressively more rigorous Quality and Capacity Framework should be introduced to provide the certainty needed to invest and expand.

3. Facilitate efficiency – our plan reforms the duty solicitor scheme to remove unnecessary costs, proposes to overhaul the wasted costs orders system to incentivise more efficient behaviour and utilises the Quality and Capacity Framework to drive positive outcomes.

Although perhaps still not ideal, at least the cuts may on the surface appear less destructive than previously thought.

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