Introduced to the Commons on 21 June 2011, a second reading has already taken place and it appears clear that the Government’s aim is for the Bill to be finalised in spring 2012 and brought into force in autumn 2012.
The LAPSO Bill includes provisions for legal aid, litigation funding and costs and the sentencing and punishment of offenders. It is also the vehicle which the Government is using to implement Lord Justice Jackson’s recommendations. Concern exists, however, about missing elements of the Jackson package, including the recommendation for the ban on referral fees.
The Bill is currently in Committee stage in the House of Commons. This stage is where a small group of MPs scrutinize each clause. It also provides an opportunity for the Bill Committee to vote on amendments and to take advice from external stakeholders. The next meeting is scheduled to take place on 13 September, with a further five meetings taking place up until 13 October.