"Internet Law Book Rewiews", Provided by Rob Jerrard LLB LLM (London)

The purpose of the Legal Action Group is to promote equal access to justice for all members of society who are socially, economically or otherwise disadvantaged. To this end, it seeks to improve law and practice, the administration of justice and legal services.

Legal Action Group (Books) 2011

Housing Law
Edition: 2nd
Format: Paperback
Author: Diane Astin
ISBN: 9781903307878
Publishers: Legal Action Group
Price: £48
Publication Date:Nov 2011

Publisher's Title Information

Housing Law: an adviser's handbook has already established itself as an essential resource for all those working in the housing field. Covering all the basic aspects of housing law, it focuses on the common problems faced by advisers, from court proceedings and the tactics of running a case, to challenging decisions and seeking remedies.
'This is a superb reference book covering all aspects of housing law and any adviser or legal practitioner acquiring the book will have a complete housing resource at their disposal ... This book will be of immeasurable benefit to anyone who provides, or aims to provide, housing advice within [the voluntary and private] sectors.' Adviser
'A wonderfully lucid, comprehensive and practical introduction to the principles of housing law. This book clears a path through the thickets of case-law and legislation and enables the reader to identify the rights and responsibilities of all kinds of residential occupier. No lawyer or adviser should be without it.' John Gallagher, Shelter Legal Services
The author expertly covers the principles of occupiers' rights, different types of tenancies, disrepair and housing conditions, possession proceedings, homelessness and allocation of housing, housing benefit, community care accommodation, civil proceedings and challenges to decisions by public bodies.

This edition has been updated to include:

Commentary and guidance on article 8 and public law defences after the Supreme Court cases of Pinnock v Manchester CC and Hounslow v Powell
The latest case-law on rights of EU nationals/rights of children: Ibrahim v Harrow LBC and Teixeira v Lambeth LBC, and Ruis Zambrano (all ECJ)
An expanded section on Children Act 1989 duties in light of R (G) v Southwark LBC
Coverage of the Equality Act 2010 and disability discrimination
The latest on the Localism Bill and proposed changes to the secure tenancy and homeless regimes
Commentary on the proposed changes to legal aid and funding of civil litigation
Housing Law: an adviser's handbook is structured and written in a user-friendly way so that it is an indispensable handbook for the busy housing lawyer and yet accessible to the non-specialist adviser and student of housing law. Each chapter begins with key points and includes checklists and summaries in each section. The book is also fully supported by appendices including a glossary, procedural checklists and precedents.

The Author

Diane Astin is a solicitor specialising in housing law, with many years' experience in private practice and in the voluntary sector. She was previously director of Public Law Project, a part-time visiting lecturer at Westminster University and London Metropolitan University and was a member of the Law Society Housing Law Committee from 1997 to 2006. Diane regularly trains and lectures in housing law, community care and asylum support for organisations including Legal Action Group, the Law Centres Federation, the Red Cross and the Refugee Council.

Reviews of previous editions

'A very comprehensive guide to housing law at an affordable price. Another quality publication from the Legal Action Group.' Letting Update Journal
'There are many excellent housing law texts - Defending Possession Proceedings, Homelessness and Allocations and the rest, but so far no one has written a book covering all areas - until now ... New advisers will be relieved that the language is clear and direct, and concepts are explained logically. Each chapter begins by laying out basic principles and builds on these in stages to arrive at a full explanation of the law and the options involved ... It is recommended for people with long experience of housing law issues and those looking for guidance on a specific point: in fact anybody with an interest in housing law.' Richard Lee, Shelter

Courses which recommend Housing Law: an adviser's handbook:

BA: Advice Studies - Housing Advice module - Staffordshire University - desirable purchase.
BA: Housing Professional Studies - Housing Law module - Sheffield Hallam University - recommended purchase.
HNC Housing Studies - Housing Law module - Hammersmith and West London College - essential purchase.
BA: Housing Studies - Housing Law module - South Bank University - essential purchase.


'Well organised - topics are easy to locate and clearly explained.' Helen Robson, Staffordshire University.
'This book is written in a well-structured way with well-presented case studies. No weaknesses - fantastic book!' Sonia Leeyou, Hammersmith and West London College.

Part of the Preface

'It is, inevitably, money.' An unusual way to begin a Court of Appeal judgment but Lord Justice Ward wasted no time identifying the issue in SA v A Local Authority. The case concerned the way local authorities provide accommodation and care for children in need. Not surprisingly, the local authority maintained that it was acceptable to exercise its duties in a way that would require it to pay the carer £83 per week less than the alternative way. The Court of Appeal held that, as a matter of law, the authority was bound to pay the higher rate. Much housing advice, in common with other types of social welfare law, is about the battle between public bodies responsible for allocating scarce resources and individuals seeking access to those resources. In housing cases, the resource people are seeking is usually no more than a secure and affordable home. Sadly, many of the recent developments and the forthcoming changes described in this book will mean that homes for the poor will become both less secure and less affordable. Under the Localism Act 2011, which received royal assent as this book went to press, local authorities will be able to grant the disingenuously named 'flexible tenancy' which, being for a fixed period only, offers less security than secure periodic tenancies which have been granted by local authorities for decades. And under the downright dishonestly named 'affordable rent tenancy' other social landlords will be able to charge rents that are much higher than those currently paid by social tenants and will be encouraged to use similar fixed term agreements instead of periodic assured tenancies.

Developments since the first edition Since 2008, when the first edition of this book appeared, there has been a flurry of activity in both the Supreme Court and the European [2011] EWCA Civ 1303, 10 November 2011. Court of Human Rights in relation to the application of public law and article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights to possession proceedings. Thankfully, the issue is now reasonably settled: in principle tenants with no security of tenure can ask the county court to review the proportionality of a decision by a public body to evict them. Such cases are likely to be exceptional and the burden will be on the tenant to convince the court that they have an arguable defence. This is a welcome development but the proposed changes to legal aid are likely to mean that fewer tenants are represented in possession claims and it remains to be seen how these exceptionaln and complex human rights arguments will be identified in the busy county courts.
More Details on the Legal Action Group Website

Defending Suspects at a Police Station
Edition: 6th
Format: Paperback
Author: Ed Cape
ISBN: 9781903307830
Publishers: Legal Action Group
Price: £55
Publication Date: Oct 2011

Publisher's Title Information

Ed Cape's authoritative guidance is unrivalled. Comprehensive yet highly accessible and practical, Ed Cape provides the answers to everyday practical questions and problems. Initial chapters explain the basic principles of defending clients at the investigative stage and examine the key provisions of PACE and the Codes of Practice. Subsequent chapters tackle the various stages of advising a client including taking instructions, advising on 'silence', interview strategies, samples and searches, identification procedures and the charge decision.
The book includes dedicated chapters on advising and assisting vulnerable clients, and on enforcement of the PACE and Code provisions. It also contains expert guidance on immigration detainees and the complex and unfamiliar aspects of immigration law that apply.
The sixth edition includes an up to date version of PACE (including changes made by the Police (Detention and Bail) Act 2011) and a full set of the most recent versions of the PACE Codes. There is a wealth of checklists, specimen letters, sample statements and forms as well as boxed summaries in each chapter so vital information can be seen at a glance.
With the challenges presented by cuts to the criminal legal aid budget, fixed fees and the possible introduction of a means and merits test for police station legal aid, ready access to all the up to date information needed by the police station adviser has never been more important.
The sixth edition of Defending Suspects covers major changes to legislation, case-law and practice including:
Significant changes to PACE and the Codes of Practice - new provisions on stop and search, new powers concerning biometric data, new legislation on police bail, important changes to Code D on identification procedures, changes to the length of detention in terrorism cases, and revision of Codes E and F to allow for electronic recording of interviews.
Major case-law developments - R (Michaels) v Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court and R v Bristol (stop and search); Re McE and CPS v LR (power to subject lawyer/client consultations to surveillance); Richardson v CC West Midlands Police and Scott Hayes v CC Merseyside Police ('necessity' for arrest); Wood v DPP, R v Iqbal and Cumberbatch v CPS (unlawful arrest); R v Alagaratnam, R v Abbas, R v Mohammed, R v Athwal, and R v Essa (prepared statements and inferences from silence); R v Preddie and R v Pecco (identification); R v Gore, R (M) v Leicestershire Constabulary and R (G) v DPP (diversion); R (Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police) v City of Salford Magistrates' Court and Paul Hookway (police bail and amendment of PACE by the Police (Detention and Bail) Act 2011).
Changes to policy and guidance - the revised Code for Crown Prosecutors, revised charging guidance from the DPP, new Codes of Practice on conditional cautions and youth conditional cautions, revised policies on police cautions.


Defending Suspects at Police Stations is the comprehensive guide for those advising detainees at the police station. It is an essential purchase for solicitors, duty solicitors, custody officers, criminal law students and in particular for those preparing for police station accreditation.
'It is difficult to believe that a solicitor with a criminal practice dare leave his office without this work.' Justice of the Peace
'Every legal representative called on to advise clients in police stations should have reference to it' JCWI Bulletin
'Defending Suspects is the Bible for police station advisers.' Criminal solicitor.

The Authors

Ed Cape is a solicitor and Professor of Criminal Law and Practice at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Formerly a partner in a legal aid practice in Bristol, and a duty solicitor for ten years, Ed writes and researches in the fields of criminal justice policy and procedure and legal services.

Jawaid Luqmani is a solicitor specialising in immigration law with Luqmani Thompson & Partners in London. He is a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and served on
its Executive Committee between 1997 and 2007. Jawaid was assessor for the Law Society immigration panel (1999-2003) and was appointed to the OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commission) advisory panel from November 2001 to August 2005. He is an assessor for the Immigration Accreditation and
Reaccreditation Schemes. Jawaid contributes regularly to Legal Action and lectures on courses for immigration lawyers.


It is now just over 25 years since the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) and the Codes of Practice came into force. PACE is probably the most important piece of legislation regulating police investigation since the creation of 'modern' policing in the 19th century. Not only did it introduce a statutory right for those held in police custody to consult a lawyer, with a non-means tested legal aid scheme to give it practical effect, but it created a comprehensive, detailed scheme for regulating many police investigative powers. It also provided recognition of the need for transparent and accountable policing, and of the rights of those detained by the police, more than two decades before incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights by the Human Rights Act 1998. In many respects it has been at the forefront of attempts around the world to ensure that the police are subject to the rule of law.

During those 25 years, the character of policing and of the criminal justice process has significantly changed. Globalisation and technological development has meant that crime, and crime investigation, has become more complex and more transnational. Successive governments have given the police ever-increasing powers. It will surprise many to be reminded that when PACE was enacted the police could take the fingerprints of a person who had not been charged with an offence only on the authority of a superintendent. Now, fingerprinting of those arrested is routine, and in some circumstances a police constable can require a person to provide fingerprints even though the person has not been arrested. Add to that powers to take DNA samples and photographs routinely, to take x-rays and ultrasound scans, to require a person to undergo drug-testing following arrest, and powers to impose conditional bail on a person without charging the person for periods unrestrained by statutory time limits, and you get a sense of how far things have moved in the space of one generation. And with the increasing availability of out-of-court disposals, for many people arrested by the police the criminal justice process is what happens at police stations.

However, whilst the need for good quality and adequately funded legal advice and assistance at police stations has increased, over the past decade the ability of criminal defence lawyers to meet those challenges has been weakened. Fixed fees for police station work mean that many lawyers do not feel able, and are certainly not encouraged, to carry out their work to an appropriate standard. Competitive tendering, still on the government's radar, will reduce dient choice and may result in police station work being the loss-leader for those firms desperate for a contract. CDS Direct has meant that suspects arrested for less serious offences have had to accept an inferior, telephone-only, service and there remains the prospect that it will be expanded to cover more serious offences. On top of that, in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, the government has signalled its intention to introduce both a means and a merits test for police station legal aid.

There is some irony in all of this. The European Court of Human Rights has recognised in a series of judgments that fair trial requires that a suspect has access to a lawyer both before and during police interrogations. This has led to heated debate in many European jurisdictions, but many governments have accepted that they must introduce a legal right to advice and assistance at the investigative stage. The European Union has adopted a 'roadmap' of procedural rights under which member states will have to introduce, amongst others, a right to legal advice and assistance at the police station. PACE led the way, but at the very time that many jurisdictions are looking to see how it is done here, the provision of good quality legal advice at police stations in England and Wales is now threatened as never before.

My original purpose in writing this book was to help criminal defence lawyers to be dear about their role at the police station, and to give them the information law, guidance and procedures to enable them to perform it effectively. The role of defence lawyers in the criminal justice process is often undervalued, particularly by politicians and others who want to be seen as tough on crime and who want to reduce spending on legal aid without, apparently, caring about underlying values of respect, fairness and justice. Despite the many challenges, I hope that this book continues to fulfill its purpose.

As always, a book of this kind inevitably relies on the ideas and contributions of many others. Most obviously, I continue to be indebted to jawaid Luqmani who, as in previous editions, wrote the chapter on advising immigration detainees. I remain grateful for the work done by Gareth Peirce, Roger Ede and Simon Hillyard in reading and commenting upon part or all of the original script I also thank the many criminal defence lawyers with whom I have worked over the years, those who have attended courses that I have presented, and those who have contacted me directly, for sharing their experiences and helping me to better understand the issues raised by criminal practice at the investigative stage. My thanks also go to my publisher, Esther Pilger, and the staff at the Legal Action Group who continue, often in difficult circumstances, to demonstrate their commitment to improving access to justice. Finally, as they know, none of this would be possible without the support of Liz, Gareth and Matthew.

The law is stated as at 1 August 2011.
Ed Cape, Bristol, 1 August 2011
More Details on the Legal Action Group Website

Employment Law: An Adviser's Handbook
Edition: 9th
Publication Date: Sept 2011
Author: Tamara Lewis
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781903307908
Publishers: Legal Action Group
Price: £38

Publisher's Title Information

Employment law: an adviser's handbook is the definitive text on employment law for the adviser. Uniquely focused on the claimant, it provides up-to-date coverage of UK employment and discrimination law.
Employment law aims to make this ever-evolving, and sometimes complex, area of law accessible to both employment law specialists and non-lawyers. It provides clear and succinct commentary on the rapidly growing body of case-law and thorough consideration of the relevant domestic legislation, EU treaties and directives.
There is step-by-step guidance for advisers running unfair dismissal and discrimination cases with as much space devoted to evidence, precedents and checklists as to setting out the law. Each chapter starts with a useful summary of key points and there is extensive cross-referencing throughout. The main text is supported by practical resources including questionnaires, a glossary and signposts to other sources of information.

The ninth edition of Employment law has been updated to include:

The Equality Act 2010, particularly in relation to equal pay and discrimination
Multiple discrimination
Abolition of the default retirement age and its consequences
New right to additional paternity leave
Agency worker regulations
New laws making blacklisting of trade unionists unlawful
Employment law: an adviser's handbook is the essential guide for voluntary sector advisers, Law Centres®, trade union representatives, lawyers and any individual looking for a comprehensive, yet accessible, guide to employment law.
Tamara Lewis is an acknowledged employment law expert with an in-depth understanding of the needs of advisers and trade union representatives.


This book was first written because Thomas Kibling and I were constantly asked to recommend a book which covered the wide range of employment problems in a dear and practical form. There was no obvious book to recommend and we wrote this book to fill the gap. In particular, we have aimed to provide lay advisers, trade union officials and lawyers with a handbook which is a real support in identifying the relevant law and issues of evidence and which can be used as a self-contained guide while running unfair dismissal and discrimination cases. The book therefore devotes as much space to evidence, precedents and checklists as to setting out the law. Due to this practical emphasis, further research may be necessary on the law itself in new, developing, specialist or complex areas.

For a clear overview of the contents and lay-out of the book, it is best to look at the contents list on pages Employment law is a large subject, which has simply exploded in recent 'years , especially as a result of European influence. The book now is almost twice as long as the first edition. It is not possible to cover the whole of employment law and all the rules and permutations in a small textbook. Inevitably there are some omissions and certain topics have been covered in more detail than others. I have tried to deal most thoroughly with subjects which frequently come up for advisers of low-paid workers. Because of its complexity, discrimination law has been treated in the greatest detail. At certain points in the book, I express views on points of law which are untested or could be challenged. It's important always to keep an open mind, as there may be other arguments which can also be explored.

Since the last edition, the Equality Act 2010 has been passed, consolidating the previous discrimination legislation and making numerous small changes in wording which may have unforeseen effects. I have done my best to provide a detailed guide to the new Act, signaling where different wording may cause difficulties.

Nevertheless, a degree of speculation and uncertainty is inevitable until case-law develops.
Some employment rights are available only to employees working under a contract of employment, others are available to workers generally. In early editions, we used the generic word 'worker'. Since the fifth edition, I have tried to use the appropriate terminology when dealing with each right. However, this can become awkward in some contexts and it is most important to check the start of each section to see who is covered. Unless specified, where the word 'worker' is used, it is not confined to the definition of 'worker' followed in certain legislation.

The internet is now an invaluable access source for reports, guidance and Codes. As these are often badly sign-posted and hard to find on the host websites, I have tried to give the exact web addresses. Unfortunately these tend to be long and cumbersome and very frequently change. If you find they are out of date, try looking through the sitemap. The internal search engines rarely help, but it sometimes works if you type in the full name of a report. Surprisingly often, it works to type the name of what you want into Google. Disappointingly, all the wonderful guidance previously on the DTI (then B ERR) site has been simplified, broken up and divided between two separate sites, Directgov for employees and Business Link for employers. In many cases, this has reduced its scope and weakened its authority.

Regarding cases and statutory references in the footnotes, 'SI' stands for 'statutory instrument' and can be accessed on the Legislation UK website (see bibliography at p823). The 'UKEAT' reference means the case is reported on the HM Courts & Tribunals website, Employment Appeal Tribunal section (see bibliography at p822). 'IRLR' refers to Industrial Relations Law Reports (see p 821).

I should say that all the names used in the case precedents in the appendices are fictional and any resemblance to real names is purely coincidental.

The law is stated as known at 20 May 2011. Where possible, reference has been made to more recent law at proof stage.
While every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this book, the author can accept no responsibility for advice given in reliance on its contents.

Tamara Lewis
Central London Law Centre August 2011

Reviews to Date

'Full of invaluable, practical advice.' Briefings (Discrimination Law Association)
'Written by an acknowledged expert in employment law ... intensely practical.' New Law Journal
'I would happily recommend this handbook as an indispensable text to any agency that gives or intends to give advice on employment rights.' Independent Adviser

More Details on the Legal Action Group Website

Tribunal Practice and Procedure
Edition: 2nd
Format: Paperback
Author: Edward Jacobs
ISBN: 978 1903307922
Publishers: LAG
Price: £50
Publication Date: June 2011

Publisher's Title Information

Tribunal Practice and Procedure is the most comprehensive and authoritative guide to the integrated tribunal system created by the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. It provides a structured approach to the practice and procedure of tribunals, setting the rules of procedure in context and providing a framework for understanding and analysing the practices that apply to them.
Since publication of the first edition, the tribunal structure has continued to expand with the introduction of immigration and asylum chambers in both the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal, and the increase of jurisdictions within the General Regulatory Chamber. This new edition takes full account of those changes and the many amendments to the rules of procedure.
There is comprehensive analysis of the key procedural decisions made by the Upper Tribunal that lay the foundations for the new procedural regimes, including R (RB) v First-tier Tribunal on the use of the review power; Secretary of State for Justice v RB on the status of High Court decisions; and LS v Lambeth LBC on the scope of the decisions that are appealable to the Upper Tribunal.
As well as dealing with the rules of procedure, this book contains practical advice for tribunal members and those who appear before them. For parties and their representatives, it deals with obtaining and assessing evidence, writing decisions, applying for adjournments, techniques of questioning and tribunal advocacy.
This is essential reading for tribunal judges and panel members, representatives and anyone who appears before the tribunal or is interested in how they work.

Edward Jacobs is one of the founding judges of the Upper Tribunal, assigned to the Administrative Appeals Chamber.

Foreword by Lord Justice Carnwath, Senior President of Tribunals.

Reviews to date

'This book is a remarkable achievement and is thoroughly recommended for those who sit on, appear before, or otherwise have to consider the work of tribunals.' Peter Lane, Senior Immigration Judge in the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).
'Edward Jacobs' new work seems destined to make a major contribution ... I look forward to using the work as a ready handbook and guide to the new tribunals world.' Lord Justice Carnwath, Senior President of Tribunals, from his foreword.
'This is highly recommended reading for anyone preparing cases for or representing at any tribunal under the new integrated system.' Adviser


1.1 Introduction
1.13 Nature of a tribunal
1.13 What a tribunal is
1.23 How a tribunal operates
1.27 Accessibility
1.35 Speed
1.40 The law of evidence
1.41_The bridging function
1.44 Enabling approach
1.58 Inquisitorial approach
1.72 Tribunal membership
1.78 Rights of audience
1.80 Non-contentious public parties
1.85 Co-operative decision-making
Between the parties · Between the parties and the tribunal
1.95 Pressures for change
1.97 Judicial nature of a tribunal
1.97 Judicial
1.106 Is a tribunal judicial?
1.108 Do statements made by a tribunal attract absolute privilege in
1.11 2 Does the tribunal exercise the judicial power of the state?
1.11 5 Does the member hold judicial office?
1.11 7 Does the law of contempt apply to proceedings?
1.121_Does the law of perjury apply to proceedings?
1.122 Is the tribunal administrative rather than judicial?
1.123 Is the tribunal quasi-judicial?
1.124 Administrative and judicial decision-making
TPP2-2 chapters. indd 1 14/6/11 13:58:41
Tribunal practice and procedure / chapter 1
1.125 Superior court of record
1.128 Specialism
1.131_Respect for specialism
Individual cases · Lines of authority · Permission to appeal to Court of Appeal
· In findings of fact
1.143 Use of specialist knowledge or expertise
1.144 Powers of judicial review
1.145 Tribunal system and judiciary
1.150 The First-tier Tribunal
The General Regulatory Chamber · The Health, Education and Social Care
Chamber · The Immigration and Asylum Chamber · The Social Entitlement
Chamber · The Tax Chamber · The War Pensions and Armed Forces
Compensation Chamber
1.157 The Upper Tribunal
The Administrative Appeals Chamber · The Immigration and Asylum Chamber
of the Upper Tribunal · The Lands Chamber · The Tax and Chancery Chamber
1.174 Judges
1.178 Death of judge
1.183 Titles
1.189 The future

From the Introduction

This book is about tribunals, what they are and how they work. It covers all aspects, except for the substantive law applied by tribunals. Tribunals are exclusively judicial bodies that operate in a way which distinguishes them from other courts. As a word, tribunal has a long history, but only as a synonym for a court. It is still used in that sense, for example in article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
However, tribunal as a distinct form of judicial body and as a word to convey that concept is a twentieth century innovation. The oldest citation of the modern use of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edn, 1989, is from the Military Service Act 1916.
There have long been bodies that were similar in many ways to what we now call a tribunal; their use proliferated in the nineteenth century. But they were not exclusively judicial, as this role was secondary to their administrative functions. They went by a variety of names, often Commission or Commissioner. They may still not be extinct. The housing benefit review boards were too closely linked, both in structure and practice, to their local authorities to be independent judicial bodies, but were only replaced by an appeal to a judicial tribunal in 2001.
Tribunals emerged as exclusively judicial bodies in the twentieth century with the local pension committee under the Old Age Pensions Act 1908 and the umpire under the National Insurance Act 1911. Since then there has been increasing recognition of their judicial status, that status has been enhanced, and tribunals have developed their own distinctive identity.


Tribunal Practice and Procedure was the first book to cover the integrated tribunal system created by the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. It provided a structured approach to the procedure and practice of tribunals, setting them in the context of the nature of tribunals, their proceedings and jurisdiction.

The first edition was well received and this 2nd edition brings us up-to-date. As well as dealing with the rules of procedure, this book contains practical advice for tribunal members and those who appear before them. For parties and their representatives, it deals with obtaining and assessing evidence, writing decisions, applying for adjournments, techniques of questioning and tribunal advocacy.
A welcome 2nd edition.

Rob Jerrard

More Details on the Legal Action Group Website

Legal Aid Handbook 2011/12
Edition: 2011/12
Format: Paperback
Author: Edited by Vicky Ling and Simon Pugh
ISBN: 978-1-903307-84-7
Publishers: Legal Action Group
Price: £40
Publication Date: 2011

With every attempt to reform it, the legal aid scheme becomes more complex and bureaucratic. Lawyers and advisers attempt to get on with helping the public, while struggling to keep up to date with administrative changes and shifting government policy. Published annually, the new LAG legal aid handbook 2011/12 (previously Making legal aid work) is the only comprehensive single-volume guide to the civil, family and criminal legal aid schemes.
Reviews to date

' ... admirably clear on some very tricky points. There should be at least one copy in every office where legal aid work is carried out'. Carol Storer, director, Legal Aid Practitioners Group.

' ... an essential reference book for all from the senior lawyer to the new paralegal. If only the commission would employ Ling and Pugh to rewrite the LSC Manual, then all our professional lives would be easier'. David Emmerson, partner, Edwards Duthie Solicitors.

Packed full of case studies, checklists and practical hints, LAG legal aid handbook 2011/12 is the perfect companion to the LSC Manual: easy to navigate, with clear guidance, extensive cross-referencing and signposting of the latest developments. It brings together information on payment schemes, guidance, case-law, regulations and other items currently buried on the Legal Services Commission website.

The 2011/12 Handbook is up to date to include the changes to the family legal aid scheme in effect from May 2011 and includes:

Clear, practical guidance on the rules and regulations that govern the schemes
Essential information on conducting cases and getting paid
Detailed coverage of the civil, family and criminal advocacy schemes
Advice on successful financial and contract management, quality standards and performance monitoring
An up-to-the-minute overview of legal aid policy developments and analysis of proposed reform and the future of publicly funded services
LAG legal aid handbook 2011/12 is essential reading for all legal aid practitioners from caseworkers to senior partners, including those in solicitors' firms, barristers' chambers, Law Centres®, Citizens Advice Bureaux and advice-giving charities, as well as legal cashiers and accountants, district judges and cost officers.


This is not a particularly good time to be a Legal Aid lawyer or to bring out a book on the subject. For years lawyers have been saying there is little still left to cut, but governments and others dream up new ideas for saving money and increase the bureaucratic burden on us. It is the disadvantaged who will suffer.
At £38.00 this is not a cheap book but it is a vital one for the legal aid practitioner. It contains everything you need to practise publicly funded law. It is much easier to use than the legal services website, which I find comprehensive but difficult to navigate as there is so much information, not all of which is current.

The book is dived into helpful sections such as, 'How to run an Immigration, Criminal or Family Case'. We really need to pass the book around, so that each Department reads their relevant section and masters it. The sections are good but to nit-pick it is not clear why some areas get a large section and other little. Prison law for example gets only a short mention and welfare law hardly anything.

The test for a reference book is how easy it is to find the answer to questions you might need in a hurry. The book does that in most regards, although I found it difficult to locate sections on file appraisals.

The sections on the history of the scheme and predictions for the future are interesting. It actually has sections on getting paid and how to bill work, which are clear and easy to use. For those of us who still want to do this sort of work it is a vital book to have.

David R Pickup

More Details on the Legal Action Group Website at
Authors' Blog

Children in Need: Local Authority support for children and families
Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Authors: Ian Wise QC, Steve Broach, Caoilfhionn Gallagher, Alison Pickup, Ben Silverstone and Azeem Suterwalla
ISBN: 9781903307854
Publishers: Legal Action Group
Price: £45
Publication Date: April 2011

Publisher's Title Information

Children in Need is the first comprehensive and accessible handbook to set out the duties and powers of local authorities to support children and families, including children in, and leaving, custody, disabled children, migrant children and families, trafficked children and children leaving care. Taking a rights-based approach, it analyses domestic and international law and sets out the entitlements to services and support that are all too often denied.
'Ian Wise and his colleagues at Doughty Street have written an invaluable guide to an intricate area of law that is of vital importance to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in our society ... Not just a theoretical text - this is a handbook for the real world.' Lord Justice Munby, from the foreword.
Uniquely focused on the often-neglected Part 3 of the Children Act 1989, Children in Need examines the public law duties which require local authorities and their partners to act to safeguard and promote the welfare of children 'in need'. It combines authoritative guidance on the law with practical advice from a team who routinely act for children and their families in court.
Children in Need is up to date, providing detailed coverage of new duties in force from April 2011 in relation to care planning and placements and short breaks for disabled children. If also includes full analysis of the major changes brought about by recent case-law, for example, R (A) v Croydon LBC (age assessment), R (G) v Southwark LBC (accommodation) and Birmingham City Council v Clue (duties to migrant families).


Legal fundamentals
Age assessments
Assessment and provision of services
Duties and powers to accommodate children
Services for migrant children and families
Duties to children leaving care
Appendices: resources, extracts from legislation and guidance
Children in Need is essential reading for claimant lawyers, advocates, voluntary and statutory sector advisers, local authority lawyers and frontline staff, social workers and academics. It is intended to assist all those who work with and for children 'in need' and their families to understand and apply the law to the benefit of vulnerable children.


Children in Need is written by members of the Doughty Street Chambers public law team, who routinely act for children and families in the courts. Between them, they have acted in the vast majority of the key cases under Part 3 of the Children Act 1989.

Key points

The purpose of this book is to explain the statutory obligations of local authorities towards vulnerable children and their families.
The law in this area has developed from a duty to support children in order to keep them out of care or the criminal justice system,
to a duty to safeguard and promote welfare of children and provide services to those 'in need'.
Children are in need of support from local authorities not due to any fault on their part, but due to their circumstances.
There are 375,900 children accepted to be 'in need' by local authorities in England, although the number of children actually or potentially in need of support is likely to be in the region of
one million.
Proper assessment is the key to understanding the needs of vulnerable children, so attempts to undermine the assessment duty should be resisted.
There is a specific duty in certain circumstances to meet the assessed needs of children 'in need'.
Resources are irrelevant where children's services have a duty to meet the needs of a child.
Areas of particular concern - such as disabled children, unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, homeless teenagers and children leaving custody - are dealt with in greater detail in subsequent chapters.
The fundamental legal obligations are straightforward; the needs of vulnerable children should be met to ensure proper respect for the dignity of the child.

Purpose of the book

1.1 Local authority support for children and families is generally regarded as a 'good thing', unsurprisingly attracting overwhelming public and political support. In the main, local authorities have been left to get on with providing support as best they can, and when problems have been identified relatively minor changes to the basic scheme found in Part III of the Children Act (CA) 1989 have been made. The requirements under CA 1989 Part III for local authorities Under CA 1989, a 'child' is any person under the age of 18: section 105(1).

More Details on the Legal Action Group Website

Disabled children: a legal handbook
Edition: First (October 2010) 528pp
Format: Paperback
Authors: Steve Broach, Luke Clements and Janet Read
ISBN: 978 19033077623
Publishers: Legal Action Group
Price: £40
Publication Date: Dec 2010
Publisher's Title Information

Disabled children: a legal handbook is an authoritative, yet accessible, guide to the legal rights of disabled children and their families in England and Wales. The authors expertly navigate the many, often overlapping, sources of law, explaining the difference between what public bodies must do to support disabled children and that which they may do.
Disabled children and their families have the same human rights as others, including the right to live 'ordinary lives'. The law in relation to disabled children is complex and frequently misunderstood by those who have duties and responsibilities towards them. Many families also lack essential information about legal matters which substantially affect their lives and about the ways the law might be used to assist them.
This handbook clearly sets out the law in key areas, in particular children's social care services, education and health care. It includes a summary of the key provisions of the Equality Act 2010, which are newly in force.
Disabled children: a legal handbook aims to empower disabled children and their families through a greater understanding of their rights and entitlements. It is essential reading for the families of disabled children, their advocates and lawyers, voluntary and statutory sector advisers, commissioners, managers and lawyers working for public authorities, education, social and health care professionals, students and academics.


Legal entitlements
Understanding disabled children's lives
Legal fundamentals
Children's services
Welfare benefits
Equality and discrimination
Transition to adulthood
Appendices: extracts from legislation, guidance and international conventions


This handbook is about the legal rights of disabled children and their families in England and Wales. The law in relation to this important group is complex and frequently misunderstood by those who have duties and responsibilities towards them. Many families -also lack essential information about legal matters which substantially affect their lives and about the ways the law might be used to assist them.

Our aim in writing this book is to provide an up-to-date legal guide which can make a contribution towards safeguarding the rights and furthering the interests of disabled children and those close to them. To this end, we have focused on issues which research, as well as our direct contact with children and their families, indicates are particularly important to them. Throughout the book, we try to suggest how the law may be used as a tool to solve problems that disabled children and their families frequently encounter and to help them achieve a quality of life enjoyed by those who do not live with disability.

The handbook seeks to be an authoritative guide to the law and of value to all those working in this field be they in the charitable, independent or statutory sectors: advisers, advocates, lawyers, social and health care professionals as well as for those in academia students and educationalists.

Above all, however, we want this text to be available to families with disabled children so that they may use it directly themselves or jointly with an advocate, lawyer or chosen representative. It has been our experience that many disabled young people and their parents access and make very effective use of books and articles about relevant law. This being so, we are delighted that the contents of this book should shortly be available to them free of charge on the inter-net enabled by the Council for Disabled Children.

The book begins with a chapter which lays down the principles that underpin the approach we take and outlines some basic information about the characteristics and circumstances of disabled children and their families in the UK. It identifies problems that they commonly encounter, the barriers that get in the way of living an ordinary life and some of the interventions and arrangements that are seen to bring about change for the better. Chapter 2 provides an introduction to what we have termed the 'legal fundamentals': the sources of law and the legal framework that apply to this group of children and their families. The subsequent chapters give detailed consideration of the law in specific areas that have been shown to be crucial: children's services, education, health, housing, welfare benefits, carers services, equality and non-discrimination and the transition to adulthood. None of these are, however, discrete topics capable of being considered in isolation from one another. In the lives of children and families as well as in legal and organisational terms, there are substantial overlaps and connections between them. In an effort to make at least some of those connections clear, we have relied heavily on cross-referencing throughout the book.

It is, of course, impossible in one text to do justice to the complexity of the lives, needs and aspirations of disabled children and their families. Similarly, a book of this length cannot cover all aspects of the law relating to every dimension of their lives or everything that might happen to them. Inevitably, choices have had to be made about what to limit and what to leave out altogether. For example, while this book is concerned throughout with the well-being and safety of disabled children, we do not deal specifically with procedures in relation to child protection. Also, this edition does not cover disabled young people in the criminal justice system. It is our intention, however, that material on this important topic will be included in the online version of the book and in any future editions.

In the writing and editing of this handbook we have benefitted greatly from those who have read and provided constructive feedback on the drafts. We are particularly grateful to the following colleagues: Clare Blackburn, Mary Busk, Jeanne Carlin, Keith Clements, Janis Firminger, Louise Franklin, Jo Honigmama, Christine Lenehan, Liz Martin, Camilla Parker, Frank Redmond, Ben Silverstone, Doug Siznkis' s, Nick Spencer, Philippa Stobbs, Janet Sunman, Pauline Thompson, Zoe Thompson, Peter Woods, Helen Wheatley, Lucia Winters, Ian Wise QC and Victoria Wright.

The chapter on welfare benefits was written by Ben Silverstone, to whom the authors are most grateful for concisely summarising this complex area of law.

Steve Broach would like to thank the following law students at BPP Law School in London who provided valuable research assistance:

Edward Martin, May Poon, Adam Porte, Natasha Silverman and Colin-Miles Witcher.

We are grateful to the Council for Disabled Children for funding and creating a website to make the contents of this book freely available online. We also thank the Legal Action Group and in particular Esther Pilger for granting the inevitable deadline extension request.,,

We would welcome all comments, corrections and feedback on this book - particularly suggestions of additional materials - which can be 'emailed to Steve Broach at s.broach®doughtystreet.co.uk. Despite the extensive assistance we have had in compiling this book, all the mistakes remain our own.

We have endeavoured to state the law as at 23 July 2010.

Steve Broach
Luke Clements
Janet Read
July 2010

More Details on the Legal Action Group Website

·         "Internet Law Book Reviews" Copyright Rob Jerrard 2011