This bill received Royal Assent on 1 May 2012 and became the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.
View the more information on the passage of the legislation on Parliament’s website.
The bill was presented to Parliament on 21 June 2011.
The bill is wide-ranging concerning the provision of legal aid, funding and costs in civil and criminal proceedings, as well as varied provisions relating to sentencing of offenders, licence and bail and the treatment of persons detained in prisons and other institutions. The bill also seeks to create new offences of threatening with a weapon in public or on school premises.
Legal aid provisions
JUSTICE opposes the cuts to legal aid and assistance which lie behind many of the enabling provisions of the legal aid part of this bill and the relevant schedules. These proposals were rushed; thought up before a new government had time to understand existing provision and need as much of a pause as did the proposed legislation for the NHS.
We welcome some of the Bill’s reforms, for example relating to the remand and cautioning of children and to suspended sentences. However, we are concerned that other of the sentencing provisions are driven by 23% budget cuts at the Ministry of Justice and the desire for ‘tough on crime’ headlines rather than a coherent strategy to reduce offending and make improvements to the criminal justice system.
JUSTICE Briefing – House of Lords, Part 3 Sentencing – February 2012
JUSTICE Briefing – House of Lords Second Reading – November 2011
JUSTICE Briefing – House of Commons Report Stage (new sentencing provisions) – November 2011
JUSTICE Briefing – House of Commons Report Stage (legal aid and sentencing) – October 2011
JUSTICE Briefing – House of Commons Public Bill Committee (sentencing provisions) – July 2011
JUSTICE Briefing – House of Commons Public Bill Committee (legal aid provisions) – July 2011
JUSTICE Briefing – House of Commons Second Reading (legal aid provisions) – June 2011
JUSTICE Briefing – House of Commons Second Reading (sentencing provisions) – June 2011