Access to Law Summer Scheme 2020
Congratulations to all our students from the first Legal Wales Access to Law Summer Scheme, run in partnership with London-based charity the Lord Edmund Davies Legal Education Trust (LEDLET)!
The Scheme ran from 27th-31st July 2020 and, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was fully on-line - another first. Twenty-four Year 12 pupils, from all over Wales, were selected to take part. The Scheme is designed to give young people from Wales, who have no connections to the law, an insight into legal careers, and the confidence to pursue such a career, following Lord Edmund Davies's injunction: "Anela'n Uchel - Aim High!".
In a demanding programme of four to six sessions a day, participants had the opportunity to hear from members of the judiciary, barristers, solicitors and chartered legal executives, based in Wales and in London, about their backgrounds, career choices and day-to-day working lives. The students undertook practical exercises designed to give a taste of some real legal work - making submissions to a judge about bail and about sentence, and learning the techniques of interpreting legislation. Sessions from the Universities of Cardiff, Swansea, and Oxford, University College London, the University of Law and Gray's Inn focused on matters of urgent interest to our 17-year-olds: university applications and choice of institution; studying law; converting to law after another degree; post-graduate qualifications and how to finance studies. Information was also provided on the CILEx route into law, as an alternative to university.
All students were provided with an individual mentor during the Scheme, and are encouraged to consider the Legal Wales and LEDLET representatives that they have met during the Week as additional mentors. In addition, applicants who could not be offered a place are provided with a mentoring opportunity, and a number have already taken up that benefit.
The senior judiciary gave tremendous support for the Scheme, with the Rt. Hon. Lord Lloyd-Jones, the Rt. Hon. Lady Justice Nicola Davies, the Hon. Mr Justice Lewis (as he then was) and the Hon. Mrs Justice Jefford all generously giving their time as speakers, as did HHJ Wendy Joseph and HHJ Milwyn Jarman QC. Support also came from across the political spectrum, with the Lord Chancellor, the Rt. Hon. Robert Buckland QC, and the Welsh Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams MS, both contributing to the programme.
The Legal Wales Foundation would like to express our profound gratitude to all those who have given their time to contribute to the Scheme this year, and their firms and Chambers. We would also like to thank all of you who offered your kind support, and hope to work with you on future access to law initiatives.
Access to Law Summer Scheme 2020 - Final dates – 27th July – 31st July
In light of the Education Minister's announcement about the reopening of schools in Wales, the Legal Wales-LEDLET Access to Law Summer Scheme will now run from Monday 27th July to Friday 31st July inclusive. The selected students have been informed.
Twenty-four Year 12 pupils, from all over Wales, have been selected for the Scheme, run in partnership with London-based charity the Lord Edmund Davies Legal Education Trust (LEDLET). The Scheme is designed to give young people from Wales, who have no connections to the law, an insight into legal careers - and the confidence to pursue such a career.
2020 sees the Summer Scheme go online for the first time, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the aim remains the same: to give young people an insight into the reality of life as a barrister, solicitor or chartered legal executive in Wales or London, and to help them achieve that life through information, advice, encouragement and building skills such as debating.
Mentoring is offered to all those who applied for the Scheme and who could not be offered a place. This process is already taking place and we would welcome more requests.
The Summer Scheme and mentoring could not take place without the support of the legal sector in Wales: lawyers from both the private and public sectors – chartered legal executives, solicitors, barristers, academics and judges - have offered to speak, to mentor and to help in other ways, both with the original residential Scheme and with the new online concept. The Legal Wales Foundation would like to express our deep gratitude to our colleagues for this generous support, particularly against the background of coronovirus.
Thank you for helping us to support young people in Wales to follow Lord Edmund Davies's motto: Anela'n Uchel - Aim High!
2020 Conference – Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic
In view of the current restrictions on movement and gatherings, and the uncertainty as to when they will cease, Legal Wales has begun to plan for an alternative, virtual, Legal Wales Conference this year. The aim is to retain as many as possible of the features of a face-to-face conference but to deliver these via an online event, which will be held on the day already earmarked for the Conference, Friday 9 October.
More information will be made available as soon as possible.
Access to Law Summer Scheme 2020 - Update
Legal Wales is excited to announce that candidates have now been selected for its 2020 Summer Scheme, run in partnership with London-based charity the Lord Edmund Davies Legal Education Trust (LEDLET). The Scheme is designed to give a group of Year 12 pupils from Wales, who have no connections to the law, an insight into legal careers - and the confidence to pursue such a career.
Twenty-four17-year-olds from North, West and South Wales, and from rural and urban areas, will take part in a ground-breaking online programme of events over 5 days. Sessions will cover university applications, studying Law and professional qualifications; speakers will give a flavour of what it is like to work as a barrister, solicitor or legal executive in London or in Wales; while other sessions will focus on relevant skills, such as analysing a piece of legislation and debating. All the sessions will be interactive, and many will take place in smaller groups, to make it easier for all the students to participate fully.
In light of the Education Minister's announcement about the reopening of schools in Wales, Legal Wales and LEDLET Trustees are considering whether the current Scheme dates are still appropriate and will keep the selected students informed of any changes.
We hope that 2021 will see a return to residential Schemes in Wales and London - but the online experience may suggest additions and improvements that prove a positive legacy of the extraordinary circumstances of 2020.
Legal Wales and LEDLET offer mentoring to all those who applied for the Scheme and who could not be offered a place. This process has already started and we would welcome more requests for mentoring, to support as many young people in Wales as possible to follow Lord Edmund Davies's motto and Anelu'n Uchel - Aim High!
Access to Law Summer Scheme - Cardiff 2020
Legal Wales has teamed up with London-based charity the Lord Edmund Davies Legal Education Trust (LEDLET) in an exciting initiative aimed at Year 12 pupils. Up to 10 pupils living in Wales (or with strong links to Wales) will be selected for a week's residential Summer Scheme in Cardiff, taking place from 13th-17th July 2020. 10 more places are available for an equivalent scheme in London.
The successful candidates will shadow solicitors, chartered legal executives and barristers; observe a court hearing and have the opportunity to talk to a judge; and attend talks and workshops on studying law, legal careers and legal skills.
The Scheme will be completely free of charge to the students - the cost of travel to and from the Scheme, and all expenses during the week, will be paid for by Legal Wales and LEDLET. Grants are also potentially available for additional costs such as suitable clothing, or costs of care for a relative who is normally cared for by a successful applicant.
The Scheme is aimed at giving an opportunity to Year 12 pupils who might not have such opportunities otherwise. So Legal Wales and LEDLET will look positively at applications from pupils receiving free school meals; who are from economically disadvantaged areas; who have a disability; who are "looked after" (in care); or who are carers for others. But anyone can apply if they:
live in Wales or have strong links with Wales
will be under 18 on 13 July 2020
have no family links with the legal profession.
Applications close on 14th February, so hurry! Apply for both the Cardiff and London schemes here
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has announced it will be sitting in Ty Hywel, Cardiff between the 22nd and 24th July 2019 - click here. This will be the first time the Court has sat in Wales, having previously held sittings in Edinburgh and Belfast. The Court will be sitting in public and further details of the sittings will be posted here in due course and on the Court’s own website www.supremecourt.uk and Twitter feed @UKSupremeCourt
SAVE THE DATE
Legal Wales Conference 2019
More details on the Conference page
The National Eisteddfod took place in Cardiff in August 2018. This year, the Law Society Annual lecture was given by Professor Elwen Evans QC, Head of the College of Law at Swansea. She is a member of the Commission for Justice in Wales and not surprisingly gave an up-date on progress of the work of the Commission. She discussed devolved powers and the lack of use of the Welsh language in Courts. She posed the questions whether Justice should be devolved to Wales.
Want to find out about Employment Tribunal procedure and what to expect at your hearing? Click here
Legal Wales Foundation extends its congratulations to Dame Nicola Davies on her appointment as Lady Justice of Appeal - the first Welsh woman to be appointed.
DRAFT LEGISLATION (WALES) BILL
The Counsel General, Jeremy Miles AM has opened a 12 week public consultation on the Draft Legislation (Wales) Bill. The proposed legislation will impose obligations on ministers and the Counsel General to make laws more accessible and it makes a provision about the interpretation of Welsh legislation. The aim is for Wales to move towards a distinct, codified jurisdiction with the publication of draft legislation designed to make laws more accessible and to facilitate the use of the law in Welsh.
COMMISSION ON JUSTICE IN WALES
The First Minister, Carwyn Jones has established a Commission on Justice in Wales. The Commission is to be chaired by Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd when he steps down from his responsibilities as Lord Chief Justice in England and Wales. Other members of the Commission includes, Simon Davies, Professor Elwen Evans QC Dr Nerys Llewelyn Jones, Juliet Lyon CBE, Sarah Payne CBE, Professor Rick Rawlings, Peter Vaughan QPM CStJDl and Sir Wyn Williams.
The terms of reference are to review the operation of the justice system in Wales and set a long term vision for its future with a view to:
The work of the Commission will begin in December and conclude in 2019 with a report of findings and recommendations.
PRO BONO AND SIGNPOSTING ACTIVITY AT THE EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL
There are various initiatives ongoing with a view to signposting unrepresented parties to sources of help and advice as follows:
1) ELIPS - an advice clinic run by professional volunteers at the Employment Tribunal, providing on the day advocacy for hearings and ad hoc advice. This is a collaboration between Employment Lawyers Association, Bar Pro Bono Unit, LawWorks and the Free Representation Unit
2) Streetlaw – a project with local universities and BPP launching in November 2017. Students will provide information to unrepresented parties about how to prepare for and what to expect at a hearing; and
3) ET leaflets (South & Mid Wales and North Wales) signposting pro-bono organisations providing legal and other support, this is available in the public areas at ET and is posted to the parties upon receipt of claim
RETIREMENT OF LORD CHIEF JUSTICE
A Dinner was held in honour of Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd to mark his retirement as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. This was hosted by the Counsel General for Wales at the Senydd Neuadd.
Legal Wales thanks Lord Thomas for the work that he has undertaken, especially in Wales. Legal Wales welcomes the new Lord Chief Justice, Sir Ian Burnett.
OPENING OF THE LEGAL YEAR
The Opening of the Legal Year took place on 8th October 2017 at Llandaff Cathedral. Llandaff Cathedral is a great building dating back to the 12th century although it was updated after damage by storms and wars.
The service replicates the service that takes place in Westminster for those concerned with the administration of law. Those present included all members of the judiciary - Judges, High Sheriffs Barristers, Solicitors and CILEx.
Readings were given by the new Lord Chief Justice Rt Hon The Lord Burnett, Professor Hope, High Sheriff of Gwynedd and The Hon Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, Presiding Judge of Wales. After a sermon by the Bishop of Llandaff, prayers were read by Mr Alwyn Ellis, Magistrate Bench Chairman. The ceremony ended with the National Anthems.
LEGAL WALES CONFERENCE
The Conference took place on 15th September 2017 in the Great Hall complex at Swansea University’s Bay Campus. The Great Hall with its adjacent galleries from which there are spectacular views of Swansea Bay, was an attractive venue.
There were 171 registered delegates. The programme comprised plenary and breakout sessions in 3 strands - Legal Education and Practice, Public Law, Civil and Social Rights. Two of the four Public Law strands were delivered in Welsh with simultaneous interpretation.
During the lunch break, delegates were able to mingle informally with speakers and guests.
The Conference ended with a Reception hosted by The Law Society. Sponsorship of the event was provided by The Law Society, Wales and Chester Circuit CILEx, University of Wales Press. The feedback from attendees was very positive.
INAUGURATION OF THE BUSINESS AND PROPERTY COURTS IN WALES
In March 2017, the Lord Chief Justice announced the forthcoming introduction of the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales. These Courts which are to be based in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Wales as well as London, will provide a single umbrella for courts specialising in business and property work. They will thus encompass the Chancery Division, the Commercial Court, the Mercantile Court and the Technology and Construction Court and will create a super-highway between courts in London and those elsewhere in England and Wales to ensure that international businesses and domestic enterprises are equally supported in the resolution of their disputes.
The Business and Property Courts in Wales are to be officially opened by the Lord Chief Justice on 24th July 2017 at Cardiff Civil Justice Centre, 2 Park Street, Cardiff CF10 1ET.
Diversity and Community Relations Judges (DCRJ): who we are and what we do
DCRJs are serving judicial office holders, appointed from across the courts and tribunal system.
DCRJs work in a voluntary capacity to engage with the communities we serve; providing information about the judiciary, the work we do and how we are appointed. We also have a remit to encourage legal professionals and law students to consider a career in the judiciary, with a particular focus on individuals from under-represented groups. Finally, we are available to assist judicial colleagues and/or act as role models on diversity/community relations issues.
In the outward looking element of our role, we aim to increase public confidence in the legal system by enhancing understanding and knowledge about what we do and who we are; the aim is to dispel myths about the judiciary.
The way in which each DCRJ fulfils their role is individual, however examples of community engagement include:
By sharing your story; your background and how you were appointed, you can raise awareness that there are multiple pathways to a judicial career.
Details of DCRJs based in Wales can be found at the following link:
If you are interested in hosting a meeting or event and wish to enquire about the attendance of a DCRJ, please contact Jacqueline McLean of the Judicial Office on: Jacqueline.McLean@judiciary.gsi.gov.uk
EJ Sian Davies
Cardiff Employment Tribunal
1 December 2016
Children’s Legal Centre (‘the CLC’) Initial Request for Support Letter - click here
The Board of Legal Wales responds to the Ministry of Justice consultation on Further Reforms to arrangements for Judicial Review.
The Board has responded to the Ministry of Justice’s proposal that statutory challenges and applications for judicial review in the field of Town and Country Planning should be transferred from the Administrative Court to an Upper Tribunal Chamber which would specialise in Planning and Land cases. The Board has emphasised:
To read the Board’s full response, click here
Legal Wales congratulates Sir John Thomas on being appointed Lord Chief Justice
The Chair of the Board of Legal Wales, Judge Milwyn Jarman QC, has written to Sir John Thomas to congratulate him on his appointment as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. Sir John, who was brought up in Cwmgiedd in the Swansea Valley, was a Presiding Judge of Wales between 1998 and 2001 and was one of those who instigated the founding of the Legal Wales Conference. He has attended the Conference regularly over the years and the 2013 Conference will be an opportunity for him to explain to delegates his vision of the role of the judiciary in modern Wales.
Legal Wales response to the Ministry of Justice proposals to reform criminal legal aid
The Board of the Legal Wales Foundation has responded to the Ministry of Justice consultation document “Transforming legal aid: delivering a more credible and efficient system” expressing concern at the proposal to remove the element of choice between legal aid solicitors and to reduce the number of criminal legal aid providers in Wales by 80%.
In the view of the Board these changes would:
To read the Board’s full response, click here