The right to legal representation is a fundamental right, and arrangements for funding this are crucial to ensuring access to justice for those accused of criminal offences. Criminal legal aid has long been regarded as an entitlement for most citizens, particularly the most economically vulnerable. However, criminal legal aid has been cast in a different light in recent years, viewed not through the lens of welfarism but subjected to neo-liberal values such as cost neutrality, marketisation and managerialism. This was particularly evident in the ‘Transforming Legal Aid’ consultation of 2013, which resurrected the idea of competitive tendering for provision of criminal legal aid services. Although not pursued in full, subsequent changes – including cuts of 8.75% to fees for legal aid lawyers – appear to have significantly affected the scope of criminal legal aid. The number of providers of such services has consistently declined over the past decade and firms have frequently reported significant financial pressure. Arguably, these reforms – justified in neo-liberal terms – have affected access to justice and by extension the quality of justice offered by the Criminal Justice System, CJS. This chapter will examine the market-driven reform of criminal legal aid in recent years, and consider two apparent examples of impact: evidence of an increasing number of litigants-in-person in criminal cases; and the outsourcing of police station work to independent ‘agents’. The chapter will also question some of the apparent contradictions in neo-liberal reform of criminal legal aid, such as the deliberate policy of reducing the size of the provider market; and the ‘false economies’ created by the pursuit of efficiency and economy: goals which are underpinned and enforced by the Criminal Procedure Rules.
This article briefly reviews the development of area measures of deprivation. It examines the construction of indices of deprivation and the uses to which such indices are put, particularly in respect of resource allocation. Previous attempts to develop indices have been based on a priori definitions of deprivation (eg the Department of the Environment’s z score and its successor, the 1991 Deprivation Index) and have lacked an empirical base. The inherent difficulties in validation of such indices are briefly rehearsed and the article presents work in progress on an index which predicts dependency on income support. The index is based on weighted Census of Population variables and is constructed using multiple regression techniques. We present the findings and two validation procedures.
Technology is increasingly being recognised as a valuable contributor to supporting people to live and age well. As such there are increasing opportunities for working with older adults to create technologies – both devices and applications – that they want to use. The NANA (Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing) project set out to create a new technology toolkit for older adults to use at home to keep track of their diet, mood, cognitive function and physical activity. This was made possible by whole project management, transdisciplinary working and partnership with older adults. This chapter describes the activities undertaken to create and validate the NANA toolkit and the implications of this work.