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Legal Services Commission's legal aid strategy
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A new strategy for civil legal advice was launched by the Legal Services Commission (LSC) in March 2006. Making Legal Rights a Reality follows A Fairer Deal for Legal Aid published in July 2005. The LSC consulted in 2005 on its strategy for the Community Legal Service (CLS). The new report sets out a radical new approach to the way civil, legal and advice services will be funded, purchased and delivered. The strategy is subject to the independent review of legal aid procurement being conducted by Lord Carter of Coles, who is likely to produce his final report later this spring. This will include recommendations on procurement arrangements for the CLS. The LSC has consulted closely with Lord Carter's team in the development of the strategy. The key proposals in the report are:
- introducing Community Legal and Advice Centres in the most deprived communities, where clients will be able to get legal help for a range of social welfare problems;
- introducing Community Legal and Advice Networks, using the joined-up approach proposed for the centres in areas where a good network of service providers already exists;
- expanding Community Legal Service Direct to improve access to legal and advice services and achieve greater value for money;
- improving information about legal rights and responsibilities.
The full strategy can be found on the LSC website http://www.legalservices.gov.uk/clsstrategyfinal15032006.pdf.